Founder of the Disney Archive, Dave Smith, died Saturday. He was 78 years old. Smith spent his amazing career preserving valuable history for everything Disney. The Disney legend worked to archive historically precious films and memorabilia. News of Smith’s passing was originally reported by Deadline.
Smith was first hired by Roy Disney in 1970 to catalog everything in the late Walt Disney’s office which was left intact since his death in 1966. Smith spent the rest of his career archiving iconic Disney treasures. Smith was honored in 2007 with the Disney Legend Award. In 2010, Smith announced his retirement after 40 years as a Disney employee. Smith’s role in the Disney Archive cemented his legacy among avid fans as the studio’s ultimate historian.
Disney CEO, Bob Iger, recounted the late legend’s legacy, “[Smith] 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.”