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Cory O’Connor, Former Disney Exec, Dies at 59

Cory O’Connor, a member of the leadership team during the early years of the Disney Channel, has died. He was 59.

O’Connor was senior VP of public relations, on-air marketing and corporate synergistic activities. He launched service-oriented programming on the network, such as the American Teacher Awards, Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra and Earth Day.

His official title at Disney Channel in early 1996 was described by journalist Jonathan Storm (Knight-Ridder/Tribune) as "what may be the ultimate Corporate-Information Age title: 'Senior Vice President, Synergy Programming and Communications.'" Storm's article was about "Inside Out," a promotional program O'Connor had launched on the then subscription-only, ad-free channel.

Since 2003 O’Connor had been assistant professor of advertising and public relations in the Dodge College of Film at Chapman University, Orange, Calif. A memorial service will be held at the college on Saturday, Jan. 16.


Leslie Jaye Goff contributed to this report.