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December 18, 2009

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Walt Disney's nephew dies at 79

ROY E. Disney, the nephew of Walt Disney whose powerful behind-the-scenes influence on The Walt Disney Co led to the departure of former chief Michael Eisner, has died at 79.

The company announced that Disney died on Wednesday in Newport Beach, California, after a yearlong bout with stomach cancer.

Company President and Chief Executive Bob Iger said Disney was much more than a valued 56-year company veteran.

"Roy's commitment to the art of animation was unparalleled and will always remain his personal legacy and one of his greatest contributions to Disney's past, present and future," Iger said in a statement.

Although he generally stayed out of the spotlight, Roy Disney didn't hesitate to lead a successful campaign in 1984 to oust Walt Disney's son-in-law after saying he was leading the firm in the wrong direction.


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