Former Disney Executive O’Connor Dies at 59

Cory O’Connor, a member of Disney’s leadership team during the early years of the Disney Channel, died at the age of 59.

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

O’Connor most recently served as assistant professor of advertising and public relations at Chapman University since 2003.

“The many remarkable tributes on Facebook are testament to his impact, an effect driven by how he gave generously of his time outside of the classroom to listen to students’ cares and concerns and persuade them to believe in themselves and their potential,” said Chapman chancellor Daniele C. Struppa.

O’Connor also made marketing stops at HBO and American Express, in addition to his time with Disney.

A memorial service will be held on Jan. 16 at 2 p.m. at the Wallace All Faiths Chapel at Chapman University.