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Donn Tatum (January 9, 1913—May 31, 1993, Los Angelesmarker) was the first non-Disney family member to be president of Walt Disney Productions. Tatum held senior executive positions with Disney for 25 years and was its chairman from 1971 until 1980. He then served as a director until 1992, when he was named Director Emeritus. He played a major role in the creation of Walt Disney World, EPCOT Center and Tokyo Disneyland.

Tatum grew up in Los Angeles, graduated magna cum laude from Stanford University, with a bachelor of arts degree in political science, and earned two law degrees from Oxford University. He passed the California bar in 1938 and became involved in entertainment law at Lillick, Geary and McHose.

He held a number of co. positions and served as counsel for RCA, NBC and ABC. He became general manager of KABC-TV in Los Angeles and Western television director for ABC.

Tatum joined Disney as production business manager in 1956 and 15 years later succeeded Roy O. Disney as chief executive and board chairman -- becoming the first non-Disney family member to head the company. Tatum served as CEO until November 1976 and as chairman until 1980, when he handed over the company to Card Walker.

He was CalArts board chairman and president of the Disney Foundation, California Broadcasting Assn., United Cerebral Palsy Assn. and Stanford Club of Los Angeles.

Tatum was a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, London, and an honorary member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and Hollywood Radio & Television Society.

He served as a board member of the Huntington Library, California State Fair and Exposition, L.A. Philharmonic Assn., L.A. Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau of Los Angeles, The John Tracy Clinic, Western Digital Corporation, Union Oil, Bank of America and Greyhound.


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