Disney Legend Marty Sklar was born on February 6, 1934 in New Brunswick, N.J. Marty dedicated 54 years of his life to the Walt Disney Company and created a legacy that impacted so many areas. He began working at Disneyland in publicity when it opened in 1955, and soon began writing speeches for Walt and becoming a trusted assistant. He’d later move into Walt Disney Imagineering, where he’d rise to lead the organization.
Imagineering, like so many other Disney departments, relies heavily on a culture of mentorship and building bridges that connect generations of employees ultimately to Walt’s vision. Marty played a critical role developing those connections. According to Disney’s original archivist Dave Smith, “Walt and he [Marty] seemed to think alike. Marty really understood Walt more than a lot of people.”
Marty is the only person to have attended the grand openings of all Disney parks. He was named a Disney Legend in 2001 and has a Main Street U.S.A. window tribute at Disneyland.
Former Walt Disney Imagineering President @bobweis said, “Marty was one of Walt’s most trusted advisors and helped turn his most ambitious dreams into reality. For us, it’s hard to imagine a world without Marty, because Marty is synonymous with Imagineering. His influence can be seen around the world, in every Disney park, and in the creative and imaginative work of almost every professional in the themed entertainment industry.”
Marty is no longer with us, but leaves behind an incredible legacy. He eloquently describes Disney philosophy in his two books: 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).
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Growing up in Los Angeles in the 70s/80s we visited Disneyland on a regular basis and often after school, before "Annual Passes".