Disney Legend Jim Cora Has Passed Away At The Age of 83
It is with a heavy heart that we here at MickeyBlog share the news that Jim Cora, a Disney Legend with a vast influence that can be found from Disneyland and Disney World to Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris ahs passed away at the age of 83.
According to a recent piece in the OC Register, Cora passed away on Sunday, March 21st after a brief hospitalization.
Cora’s incredible tenure with Disney first started with a role at Disneyland back in 1957 where he signed on as a part-time attractions host. His job? Polishing 3D glasses at the Mickey Mouse Club Theater. In what is one of the great rises within the company, Cora would retire 43 years later as the chairman of Disney International!
Walt Disney himself is credited with being behind Cora’s rise within the company promoting him into a training and development role. Cora, who was just a teenager at the time was sent to find Disney University found Van Arsdale France with the instructions, “Tell him Walt Sent you, I think he may have something for you.”
Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro called Cora one of the company’s last connections to Walt Disney, “Very few people have a Disney legacy that reaches as far and wide as Jim Cora,” D’Amaro said in a statement. “His dedication to bringing Disney magic to people around the world was only matched by the passion he exuded throughout his career and for the many years that followed. I always loved hearing Jim’s thoughts about our business. He was one of our last connections to Walt Disney and he will be missed dearly.”
During his long history with The Walt Disney Company Cora’s career would take him around the world. He is credited with creating the “Disney Way of Leadership” program at the Magic Kingdom which was implemented with the opening of the theme park.
Before Tokyo Disneyland opened, Cora was named managing director of operations for Japan theme parks before being promoted to Vice President of Walt Disney Productions Japan. His son said, in a statement released by Disney, “My dad didn’t speak Japanese fluently, but he learned the things he needed to successfully communicate how a park should run and make sure the brand was safe.”
After his time in Japan Cora would help plan Euro Disneyland which would later be named Disneyland Paris.
In the 1990s he was instrumental in determining the creative direction of Tokyo DisneySea and would eventually retire as chairman of Disney International in 2001. He was named a Disney Legend in 2005.
Even in retirement Cora was busy volunteering for Taller San Jose Hope Builders. He also served on the board of directors at St. Joseph Hospital Orange. He also has a memoir coming out later this year titled, “Not Just a Walk in the Park: My Worldwide Disney Resorts Career.”
Cora is survived by his wife, Mimi; daughter Rene Wong and her husband Kelly; his son Jim, and his wife, Bonnie; two grandchildren, Kayleigh and Joshua; and siblings Marilyn and John.
Our hearts go out to Cora’s family, friends and colleagues.
Source: OC Register