Meaghan Kirby
July 28, 2017 2:07 pm
Disney/Image Group LA via Getty Images

Today, Disney fans all over the world are mourning the loss of one of the most legendary Imagineers.

Marty Sklar, who was instrumental in creating, enhancing, and expanding Walt Disney’s creative vision — and who took over the EPCOT Center project when Walt died — passed away yesterday at 83. The longtime Imagineer began working for Walt Disney himself in 1955 as an intern, and ended his 54-year career as International Ambassador for Walt Disney Imagineering, where he traveled all over the world to find a new generation of Disney talent.

The long-time Disney icon was formally made a Disney Legend in 2001 and most recently made an appearance at D23 in Anaheim, just a few weeks ago.

Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for The Walt Disney Family Museum

During his tenure at Disney, Sklar went from intern to Walt Disney’s right-hand man. Sklar recounted his experience at Disney in several books, including Dream It! Do It!: My Half-Century Creating Disney’s Magic Kingdoms and One Little Spark!: Mickey’s Ten Commandments and The Road to Imagineering.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Leah, a daughter, son, daughter-in-law, and many grandchildren. Donations can be made to Sklar’s foundation, Ryman Arts, a nonprofit which mentors young artists in California.