Legendary Disney Imagineer Marty Sklar died Thursday, July 27, at age 83.
Sklar has a 54-year career with the Walt Disney Company, working closely with Walt Disney himself early in his career. He was named a Disney Legend in 2001 and will be remembered for his contributions to the Disney theme parks around the world.
Born on February 6, 1934, Marty Sklar was a student at UCLA when he was recruited to create The Disneyland News for Disneyland.
In 1956, Marty joined Disney full-time and would work “as Walt’s right-hand man” and eventually joining WED Enterprises which was the forerunner of Walt Disney Imagineering. Sklar would become the creative leader of Imagineering and would spend the next three decades developing theme parks and attractions.
On Disneyland’s 54th anniversary – July 17, 2009 – Marty retired and was honored with a window on Disneyland’s City Hall on Main Street U.S.A.
Marty was one of the few people who was present at the opening of every Disney theme park in the world, including Shanghai Disney last year.
He also authored several books including Disney: Dream It! Do It!: My Half-Century Creating Disney’s Magic Kingdoms (2013), and One Little Spark!: Mickey’s Ten Commandments and The Road to Imagineering (2015).
Marty is survived by his wife of 60 years, Leah; son Howard and his wife, Katriina Koski-Sklar; grandchildren Gabriel and Hannah; daughter Leslie; and grandchildren Rachel and Jacob.