Disney Legend Bob Mathieson Passed Away on Sunday
Legendary Disney VP Bob Matheison passed away on Sunday, January 5th at the age of 85
Matheison worked for the Walt Disney Company for an incredible 34 years where he made a variety of contributions! This includes helping to develop Walt Disney World and creating its executive training program.
Bob Matheison was born on January 30, 1934, in Portland Oregon. He graduated from the University of Southern California in 1955 with a BA in telecommunications. He served two years with the United States Army in their radio-television branch after university before becoming a broadcaster for WFAA in Dallas, Texas. In 1960 Bob was offered a job at Disneyland as a sound coordinator and upon accepting the position was responsible for programming anything audible to guests. Responsibilities ranged from recording music to teaching Jungle Cruise skippers how to speak into their microphones.
Matheison was then promoted to the manager of Guest relations before producing live radio and television broadcasts from Disneyland. In 1965 Walt himself tapped Bob to manage the operation of its a small world and to supervise the technical assistance staff for Magic Skyway, Great Moments with Mr Lincoln and the Carousel of Progress at the New York World’s Fair.
After the World’s Fair Bob returned to Disneyland where in 1969 he became director of operations at Disneyland. He then carried the title to Walt Disney World in Florida where three years later he was promoted to Vice President of Operations before becoming VP of the Magic Kingdom. Three years later Matheison was promoted again to Executive Vice President of the Parks for Walt Disney World.
Bob Matheison retired in 1994 after over three decades with the company. Outside of his role at Disney, Matheison served as president of the Florida Citrus Sports Association, Director of the Orlando Area Chamber of Commerce and for years announced all plays at the Warrior Football Games for West Orange County High School.
Bob Matheison retired in February 1994, after 34 years with The Walt Disney Company.
He leaves behind a wife, three children and 10 grandchildren.