Ron W. Miller, a former USC football star who married a daughter of Walt Disney and later became CEO of the Burbank entertainment giant, died Saturday. He was 85.
Miller passed away in Napa, where he owned Silverado Vineyards. He served as president and later chief executive of Disney from 1978 until 1984, when he was pushed out in a power struggle that left Frank Wells and Michael Eisner in charge of the company.
“Everyone at The Walt Disney Co. is deeply saddened by the passing of Ron Miller,” said company Chairman and Chief Executive Bob Iger, in a statement. “His life and legacy are inextricably linked with our Company and the Disney family because he was such a vital part of both, as our CEO and Walt’s son-in-law.”
The company credited him as being a driving force behind such initiatives as Epcot Center, Touchstone Pictures and the Disney Channel. “Miller helped navigate a difficult period of change, laying the foundation for a broader revenue base to support Walt’s vision for decades to come,” the statement said.
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