Dave Smith, the first-ever Disney Archivist and the Walt Disney Archives founder, has died at the age of 78.
He reportedly passed away on Friday, February 15, in Burbank, California.
The historian spent 40 years working for the company’s entertainment and innovation's legacy. He served as Disney’s chief archivist for the company from 1970 to 2010.
In 2007, Dave was named a Disney Legend and after his retirement, he served as a consultant to the company.
During his decades-long career, he created and preserved Disney's films, television projects, theme parks and penned several books on Disney history.
His publications include The First 100 Years, Disney Trivia From the Vault, Disney A to Z, The Quotable Walt Disney and the four Ultimate Disney Trivia books.
Bob Iger, the Disney chairman and CEO, paid tribute to the late iconic figure by sharing a lengthy statement that reads,
I’m deeply saddened to learn of Dave Smith’s passing. He was the unsung hero of Disney’s history who, as our first archivist, spent 40 years rescuing countless documents and artifacts from obscurity, investing endless hours restoring and preserving these priceless pieces of our legacy, and putting them in context to tell our story. Dave was a true Disney Legend, and we are indebted to him for building such an enduring, tangible connection to our past that continues to inspire our future.
Rest in Peace Dave Smith!
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