Newswire: R.I.P. Marty Sklar, pioneering Disney Imagineer

Marty Sklar, one of the first people to ever earn the title “Imagineer” as part of his work on the Disney family of theme parks, has died. A personal friend and protege of Walt Disney, Sklar worked at the company for 53 years, designing attractions, developing and promoting parks, and serving as a beloved part of the company’s institutional memory. In the words of former Disneyland International chairman Jim Cora, speaking at Sklar’s retirement ceremony in 2009, he “understands the Disney way, because he learned it at Walt’s knee. He is the keeper of the keys, the conscience, the Jiminy Cricket for the organization.”

Sklar got his start at Disney while he was still in college, when he was tapped to write The Disneyland News newspaper for the soon-to-open park. After graduating, he started working for Disney full-time, writing marketing copy and speeches for Walt Disney himself …

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