The leading "Imagineer" for the Disney theme parks has passed away. Martin "Marty" Sklar was known as the central figure for expansion and development for the beloved theme parks around the world.
Sklar was 83 when he died on Thursday. A spokesperson for Disney said he passed away at his Hollywood Hills home. The details of his cause of death have not yet been released.
According to ABC News, Marty was Walt Disney's right-hand man. Employees of the company even considered him a living link to Walt Disney himself. Sklar is also responsible for creating "Mickey's 10 Commandments," which many believe has to lead the success of the parks.
"Everything about Marty was legendary — his achievements, his spirit, his career," Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger said "He embodied the very best of Disney, from his bold originality to his joyful optimism and relentless drive for excellence. He was also a powerful connection to Walt himself."
His work for Disney included a development role in every park, which began with the original Disneyland in 1955 to his work just last year on the Shanghai Disney Resort. When he became the company's chief creative leader for theme parks, he was one of the first to have the title "Imagineer."
In 2005, Sklar attended Disneyland's 50th anniversary. As he walked into the park he shared a thought with the Associated Press that summed up his life's work.
"I think Disneyland is so much about reassuring people the world can be OK, that things can be orderly, that you can speak to a stranger," he said to The Associated Press. "All those things that we are losing or have lost in our daily lives."
Marty will be missed by the many lives he has touched, but his lasting impact on the world of Disney will be remembered forever. Please pray for his family during this time, especially his wife of 60 years Leah, and son Howard.
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