Ron Miller, Walt Disney’s Son-in-Law and Former Disney CEO, Passes Away

Ron Miller, husband of Diane Disney-Miller, former President and CEO of Walt Disney Productions,  President of the Board of Directors at The Walt Disney Family Museum, and owner of Silverado Vineyards, passed away in Napa, California at the age of 85.

Ron Miller  ©The Walt Disney Family Museum

After marrying Diane Disney and serving in the Army, Miller played professional football for the Los Angeles Rams. Recruited by his father-in-law, Walt Disney, Miller worked at The Walt Disney Studios. There, he rose from motion picture and television production roles to CEO of what is today’s The Walt Disney Company.

Miller was a member of the original Disneyland team, where he was employee number six. Miller’s first job in this capacity was serving as second assistant on Old Yeller (1957). As CEO, Miller pushed the Company to expand and explore, creating Walt Disney Home Video, Touchstone Pictures, and The Disney Channel.

Miller, Diane, and Diane’s mother, Lillian, established Silverado Vineyards in 1981, four years after they purchased the property. This area became the Millers’ permanent residence.

Miller supported Diane’s pursuit in documenting the life and accomplishments of her father, from producing the documentary film Walt: The Man Behind the Myth (2001) to establishing The Walt Disney Family Museum in the Presidio of San Francisco in 2009.

Bob Iger, chairman and chief executive officer, The Walt Disney Company issued this statement today: “Everyone at The Walt Disney Company is deeply saddened by the passing of Ron Miller. 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. 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. I was fortunate to have known him, and even luckier to have called him a friend. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

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Sarah has built a career in communications and marketing that started when she was the editor of her high school newspaper. She has written for AllEars.net since 2018, and enjoys sharing Disney news and updates with the AllEars community. She's been a Disney fan ever since her first visit to Walt Disney World when she was 5, and has been known to arrange trips around visiting a Disney park!

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