Ron Miller, Former Disney CEO, Passes Away at Age 85
Ron Miller, former CEO and president of the Walt Disney Company has passed away at the age of 85.
Ron Miller married Walt Disney’s daughter, Diane Disney. They met at the University of Southern California. 21-year-old Miller was introduced to 20-year-old student Diane Disney on a blind date after playing in a football game. They married in a small Episcopal church ceremony in Santa Barbara on May 9, 1954. Miller then served in the Army and played professional football before he was knocked unconscious during a game—one where Walt Disney was in attendance.
“My father-in-law saw me play in two football games when I was with the Los Angeles Rams. In one of them, I caught a pass and Dick ‘Night Train’ Lane let me have it from the rear. His forearm came across my nose and knocked me unconscious. I woke up in about the third quarter. At the end of the season, Walt came up to me and said, ‘You know, I don’t want to be the father to your children. You’re going to die out there. How about coming to work with me?’ I did and it was a wise decision on my part. I’m really very proud of having been a professional athlete. I think it teaches you to be competitive, to accept challenges and to see things through. I realize the image some people have of jocks, but I think that certainly has changed over the years,” Miller told entertainment reporter Dale Pollock in August 1984.
Disney sponsored his son-in-law and got him into the Screen Director’s Guild and Miller worked as a second assistant on Old Yeller (1957). He soon rose up the ranks to a variety of producer positions and also directed some of Disney lead-ins for the popular weekly Disney television series. Miller was credited as producer on films including Tron, The Rescuers, Pete’s Dragon, Escape to Witch Mountain, The Fox and the Hound and The Black Cauldron. Miller became president of Walt Disney Productions in 1978 and CEO in 1983.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
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