May 24, 1918 – Investor, Producer, and Disney Legend Jack Wrather is Born
“My father had the notion that business should be fun. He had more fun with the Disneyland Hotel than with any other investment.” – Chris Wrather
On May 24, 1918, John Devereaux Wrather was born in Amarillo, Texas. A millionaire through his work in the oil industry, as well as through the expansion of his father’s company Wrather Petroleum Company, he headed to Hollywood after serving as a Marine during World War II. Wrather became a successful producer for several studios, diversifying his company into other entertainment mediums, including music and television. In 1954, Wrather reached a deal with Walt Disney to build a hotel near the Disneyland Park, which would become the Disneyland Hotel. The hotel broke ground mid-March of 1955, and was completed six-and-a-half months later. The hotel was groundbreaking as a new mix of entertainment and lodging, and continued to grow with the changing landscape of Orange County. Wrather’s contribution to the Disney Park set the standard for other Disney hotels. Wrather passed away in 1984 at the age of 66. He was honored as a Disney Legend in 2011.