Jim Cora, a Disney Legend who was with the company for 43 years, died unexpectedly at age 83.
First working as an attractions host for Disneyland in 1957, Cora was promoted to the administration department by Walt Disney himself. After working in management for 10 years at Disneyland, he lent his expertise to Walt Disney World during its opening in 1971 and later as he became a production director for Fantasyland and Tomorrowland.
In the late 70s and throughout the 1980s, Cora worked on the international parks including Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris. This led him to his role as vice president, president and finally, chairman of Disneyland International.
He retired from the company in 2001 and four years later, was named a Disney Legend.
His recently completed memoir, Not Just a Walk in the Park: My Worldwide Disney Resorts Career, will be published by Disney Editions later this year.
Current Disney Parks chairman Josh D’Amaro had this to say about Cora:
“Very few people have a Disney legacy that reaches as far and wide as Jim Cora. His dedication to bringing Disney magic to people around the world was only matched by the passion he exuded throughout his career and for the many years that followed. I always loved hearing Jim’s thoughts about our business. He was one of our last connections to Walt Disney and he will be missed dearly.”
Our sincerest condolences go out to Jim Cora’s loved ones.