Ron Miller, Former Disney CEO and Walt's Son-in-Law, Dies at 85

(Bloomberg) -- Ron Miller, the son-in law of Walt Disney who later ran the entertainment giant, died on Saturday. He was 85.

Miller served as president, and later chief executive officer of Disney from 1978 until 1984. He was pushed out in a power struggle that eventually left Michael Eisner in charge of the company, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“Everyone at The Walt Disney Co. is deeply saddened by the passing of Ron Miller,” Chairman Bob Iger said in a statement. “His life and legacy are inextricably linked with our Company and the Disney family because he was such a vital part of both, as our CEO and Walt’s son-in-law.”

Ron Miller, Former Disney CEO and Walt's Son-in-Law, Dies at 85

Miller died in Napa, California. As a 21-year-old USC football player, he met Walt’s daughter Diane Disney on a blind date. They were married in Santa Barbara on May 9, 1954.

He served in the U.S. Army and played professional football for the Los Angeles Rams before joining Disney Studios in 1957. His first job there was serving as second assistant on "Old Yeller."

The company credited him as being a driving force behind Epcot Center, Touchstone Pictures and the Disney Channel.

“Few people had Ron’s understanding of our history, or a deeper appreciation and respect for our company, and he shared it generously with anyone who wanted to know more," Iger said. "I was fortunate to have known him, and even luckier to have called him a friend.”

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