If you were to ask any Disney historian who was most influential in crafting and honing Walt Disney’s ideas, there are few men they would name before they got to the name Marty Sklar. That’s because he was a tried and true Disney legend (officially named so in 2001). His status as a legend needed no official induction or fancy plaques. Those who knew him were well aware of his contributions to the vision of the company’s founder and father.

It’s with immense sorrow from Disney fans around the world that Sklar passed away on Thursday at the age of 83. In a career that spanned 54 years, he worked closely with the great Walt Disney in bringing to life his theme parks and their various attractions. As Vice President of Concepts and Planning for Walt Disney Imagineering, there wasn’t a single classic Disneyland and Disney World ride that Sklar didn’t have his hand in influencing.

Sklar Posing With Schematics For EPCOT

It was Marty’s keen eye for creative detail and adeptness at creating narratives within parks that Walt admired so much. Even for the most average of Disney fans, Marty Sklar has influenced at least some part of your Disney-going experience.

Marty is survived by Leah, his wife of 60 years, a son named Howard and his wife, a daughter named Leslie, and four grandchildren.

Besides his contributions to Disney Imagineering, Sklar and his wife were also founders of the Ryman Program for Young Artists, a nonprofit organization that mentored young talent in Southern California with an emphasis on traditional, hand-drawn animation.

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