Please join us in celebrating the life of our museum co-founder, Diane Disney Miller, who passed away on this day ten years ago. Museum Executive Director, Kirsten Komoroske, reflected on Diane in our December 2014 member magazine: “More than being a philanthropist and enthusiastic supporter of the arts, Diane was her father’s daughter.
Meticulous, theme-enhancing horticulture played a starring role in the transformation of flat Anaheim farmland into Walt’s rich, immersive vision for Disneyland.
It was late July 1923 and Walt Disney had failed. His Laugh-O-gram Films was headed for bankruptcy and, with little prospects left in Kansas City, Missouri, he was pulling up stakes. Hollywood was his destination. “Go west, young man, go west and grow up with the country,” the newspaperman Horace Greeley had written in 1865 (Walt would later quote this phrase to his friend Ub Iwerks, still back in Kansas City).
In October 1966, Walt Disney filmed an introduction for a special invitational screening of Follow Me, Boys! (1966)—a live-action film notable for being the acting debut of future Disney Legend Kurt Russell—that he was too busy at the Studios to attend. To express his regrets, he turned to one of the best way he knew how—by getting on camera.
We are saddened to hear of the passing of Disney historian Jim Korkis. Jim interviewed Diane Disney Miller many times for his projects, and Diane shared, "I have not hesitated to correspond with Jim whenever I think of something that might interest him, or to add some insights into something he has written about. Dad did not hide anything about his life."
Jim contributed numerous insightful articles to the museum's blog and in 2014, presented a program on "How Walt Put a Man on the Moon." His generosity and invaluable knowledge and research of Walt Disney's life will be missed.
Throughout his life, Walt Disney was dedicated to giving back to his community and generously supported many charities, especially those that benefitted children. From Toys for Tots to the Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA, Walt’s charitable giving often extended beyond monetary support. The John Tracy Clinic—now known as the John Tracy Center—was an organization close to Walt’s heart and, from its inception, he was an active supporter of its efforts.