Disney legend, visionary Marty Sklar dies at 83

Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images
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Disney legend, visionary Marty Sklar dies at 83

Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images
Epcot Center in Orlando, Florida.

Disney Imagineer Martin A. “Marty” Sklar, who helped craft the vision that produced Walt Disney World and Epcot, died Thursday, the Walt Disney Company announced in a blog post. He was 83.

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Sklar worked at Disney for 54 years and "was instrumental” in helping Walt Disney create and expand his vision for theme parks.

“Everything about Marty was legendary – his achievements, his spirit, his career,” said Bob Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Walt Disney Company. “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. No one was more passionate about Disney than Marty and we’ll miss his enthusiasm, his grace, and his indomitable spirit.”

Sklar was recruited to create The Disneyland News for the California theme park in 1955, when he was a student at UCLA. After graduating in 1956, Sklar joined Disney full time. He retired as executive vice president and imagineering ambassador on July 17, 2009, on the 54th anniversary of Disneyland’s opening.

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