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FORMER DISNEY CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE DONN TATUM DIES

 LOS ANGELES, June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Donn B. Tatum, former president and chairman of the board of The Walt Disney Co., died of cancer at his home in Pacific Palisades on Monday, following a lengthy illness. He was 80.
 "The entire Walt Disney Co. mourns the passing of Donn Tatum, a great friend, a scholar and exemplary leader," said Disney Chairman Michael D. Eisner and President Frank G. Wells. "He served the Disney Co. in senior executive roles for more than 25 years, holding almost every position of importance in the company during his career including president, and from 1971 until 1980 was chairman of the board.
 "He served as a director of the company until his resignation last year, when he was named director emeritus. The world will miss Donn, but we at Disney who looked to him for wisdom, guidance and balance will miss him more."
 Tatum grew up in Los Angeles and graduated magna cum laude from Stanford with a bachelor of arts degree in political science and economics. He held two degrees in jurisprudence from Oxford. After passing the California bar exam in 1938, he became a partner in the law firm of Lillick, Geary and McHose, where he became involved with entertainment.
 He held a number of corporate legal positions and served as counsel for RCA, NBC and ABC. A pioneer in the early days of the television industry, he helped with the creation of legislation affecting television. He became general manager of KABC-TV, Los Angeles, and western television director for ABC.
 He joined Disney as production business manager in 1956 and 15 years later became the first non-Disney family member to become chief executive and board chairman when he succeeded Roy O. Disney.
 He was the first president of Walt Disney World Co. and played a major role in the creation of Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland. From 1980 to 1983, he served as chairman of the executive committee.
 Tatum had served as a director or trustee of numerous organizations, including Western Digital Corp., Greyhound Corp., Pacific Mutual Insurance, Bank of America, Unocal, Capital Guardian Group, the John Tracy Clinic, Salk Institute and St. John's Medical Foundation.
 He was chairman of the board of The California Institute of the Arts, and served as president of the Disney Foundation, the California Broadcasting Assn., the United Cerebral Palsy Assn. and Stanford Club of Los Angeles. He was a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, London, and an honorary member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Hollywood Radio and Television Society.
 He served on the boards of numerous other civic and philanthropic organizations, including the Huntington Library Board of Overseers, California State Fair and Exposition, Los Angeles Philharmonic Assn., Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and the Better Business Bureau of Los Angeles.
 Tatum is survived by his wife of 56 years, Vernette, sons Frederic, Donn Jr. and Forbes; daughters Vernette Tatum and Melantha Donohue; eight grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
 Funeral services will be private. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to St. John of God Retirement and Care Center, 2035 W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90018, or the John Tracy Clinic, 806 W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90007.
 -0- 6/1/93
 /CONTACT: Tom Deegan of The Walt Disney Co., 818-560-1572/


CO: The Walt Disney Co. ST: California IN: LEI ENT SU:

JL-JB -- LA031 -- 4205 06/01/93 19:32 EDT
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Date:Jun 1, 1993
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