February 6, 1934 – Vice Chairman and Principal Creative Executive of WDI and Disney Legend Marty Sklar is Born
“Our training was by Walt, who was always there pitching in with new ideas and improving everyone else’s input. The fire was that we were constantly breaking new ground to create deadline projects never attempted before in this business. That, I’m proud to say, has never stopped in my years at Disney.”
On February 6, 1934, Martin A. Sklar was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He attended UCLA for undergraduate studies, and serves as the editor for the Daily Bruin college newsletter. In 1955, he was recruited to create a newsletter to be sold on Main Street of Disneyland for the park’s first year: The Disneyland News. Upon graduation, Sklar joined Disney, working with Disneyland’s publicity and marketing department and creating the Vacationland magazine. In 1961, Sklar joined WED Enterprises (now known as Walt Disney Imagineering) to work on the special shows for the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair. During this time, he continued to do publicity work for Walt Disney specifically, writing material to be used in publications and television; he is best known for writing the material for a special 20 minute film about EPCOT. In 1974, Sklar became the Vice President of Concepts and Planning in WDI, where he helped with the development of Epcot in Walt Disney World. He continued to rise in the ranks, with being named Vice President of Creative Development in 1979, Executive Vice President in 1982, and President and Vice Chairman in 1987. He held the last role until 1996. During his tenure, Sklar led the efforts for entertainment concepts within Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disney Resort, and Hong Kong Disneyland. In 2001, Sklar was not only honored with a special award for 45 years of service in the Disney Company, and was also named a Disney Legend. In 2005, the 50th anniversary of Disneyland, Sklar was named Imagineering’s international ambassador. In 2009, after 53 years at Disney, Sklar retired.