National

Dec 16, 2009 2:37 PM by Associated Press

Walt Disney's nephew, Roy, dies at 79

A newspaper 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. Clifford A. Miller, a spokesman for Roy Disney's company Shamrock Holdings, told the Los Angeles Times that Disney died Wednesday after a bout with 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.

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