Diane Disney Miller, Walt Disney’s Daughter, Dies At 79
Diane Disney Miller, the eldest daughter of Walt Disney and his wife Lillian Bounds Disney, died on Tuesday. She was 79.
Robert Iger, the CEO and president of the Walt Disney Company, confirmed Disney Miller’s death. She died in Napa after succumbing to injuries sustained in a fall a few months earlier.
Walt Disney's Daughter Mourned
"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Diane Disney Miller and our thoughts are with her family during his difficult time," Iger said in a statement. "As the beloved daughter of Walt Disney and one of his inspirations for creating Disneyland, she holds a special place in the history of The Walt Disney Company and in the hearts of fans everywhere. She will be remembered for her grace and generosity and tireless work to preserve her father's legacy, and she will be greatly missed by all who knew her."
Disney Miller remained a part of her father’s expansive legacy throughout her life, serving as the president of the Walt Disney Family Foundation and the co-founder of the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco with her son, Walter Elias Disney Miller. The museum, which opened in 2009, receives over 100,000 visitors a year. "She was totally devoted to the memory of her father. She obviously just worshiped him, and everything she did at the museum was to honor him, and to be sure that people knew the accurate story," said a former business associate of Disney Miller, Nancy Bechtle.
Diane Disney Miller's Husband, Their Napa Vineyard
Ron Miller, Disney Miller’s husband who she met while attending the University of Southern California, played professional football before getting into the Disney family business at Walt Disney’s behest. By 1978, he became the president of Walt Disney Productions and was named CEO in 1983.
Disney Miller and her husband purchased two vineyards in the late 70s, which they later turned into the profitable Silverado Vineyards Winery.
Disney Miller is survived by her husband; children Christopher Miller, Joanna Miller, Tamara Diane Miller, Jennifer Miller-Goff, Walter Elias Disney Miller, Ronald Miller and Patrick Miller; 13 grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.
– Chelsea Regan