Roy Disney, nephew of Walt Disney, dies at 79

LOS ANGELES Disney played a key role in the revitalization of The Walt Disney Co. and Disney's animation legacy. He worked for the company as a writer and producer. Later, he served as vice chairman of the company's board of directors and chairman of the studio's animation department.

"On behalf of everyone at Disney, we are saddened by the loss of our friend and colleague Roy E. Disney. He was much more than a valued 56-year Company veteran -- Roy's true passion and focus were preserving and building upon the amazing legacy of Disney animation that was started by his father and uncle. Roy's commitment to the art of animation was unparalleled and will always remain his personal legacy and one of his greatest contributions to Disney's past, present and future," Bob Iger, president and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, said in a statement.

For the next week, the Disney flag will fly at half mast at all Disney Parks.

Roy Edward Disney was born in Los Angeles on January 10, 1930 to Roy O. Disney and Edna Francis Disney. His father, Roy O. Disney, and uncle, Walt, co-founded The Walt Disney Co. in 1923.

But his most important influence was as a Disney shareholder who led two investor revolts.

In 1984 he led a successful campaign to oust Walt Disney's son-in-law from the company. Nearly 20 years later, he launched another successful shareholder revolt against Michael Eisner.

Disney is survived by his wife, Leslie, four children from his marriage to Patricia Dailey Disney, and 16 grandchildren.

Disney is the parent company of ABC 30

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