Sad news for Disney fans, Art Linkletter passed yesterday at the age of 97.
Linkletter was present at the original Disneyland opening on July 17th 1955 and at the 50th anniversary celebration on the same date in 2005 (he was then 93).

Linkletter was also the original creator of “Kids Say the Darndest Things”.  He got the idea after speaking to his oldest child, Jack his first day of kindergarten.  After Jack told him he was never going back to school Art asked him why.  Jack’s response was “”Because I can’t read, I can’t write and they won’t let me talk!”

An official statement from Robert Iger, President and C.E.O. of the Walt Disney Company was also released yesterday.

“Throughout Art’s 60 years in show business, he remained one of the most respected and beloved media personalities in America,” said Disney President and CEO Bob Iger. “Art had forged a great friendship with our founder Walt Disney, which led him to host Disneyland’s groundbreaking live opening day broadcast on ABC in 1955. Art had remained a good friend to the company ever since, and we honored him with the prestigious Disney Legends Award in 2005. On behalf of everyone at Disney, we are saddened by Art’s passing and extend our thoughts and prayers to his family and loved ones”