The Walt Disney Co. says Roy E. Disney, the nephew of Walt Disney who became a powerful behind-the-scenes influence on the family business, has died. He was 79.
The company announced that Disney died Wednesday in Newport Beach after a bout with stomach cancer.
His father, Roy O. Disney, and uncle, Walt, founded The Walt Disney Co. in the 1920s. Walt was the company's creative genius but Roy Disney's father played a vital role as head of its financial side.
The younger Disney, born in 1930, worked for the company as a writer and producer. But his most important influence was as a Disney shareholder who led two investor revolts.
In 1984 he led a successful campaign to oust Walt Disney's son-in-law from the company. Nearly 20 years later, he launched another successful shareholder revolt against Michael Eisner.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)