Kay Kamen and Walt Disney

Plane Crash Claims the Life of Kay Kamen

When Disney Legend Kay Kamen signed a contract with Walt and Roy Disney to join the Company in 1932, he became the exclusive licensing representative of the untapped world of Disney character merchandise. With prior sales experience of properties such as the Our Gang comedy shorts, Kay helped start the licensing of Disney’s characters, whose profits helped bring the studio much-needed funds. From Mickey and Minnie to Ferdinand the Bull, and the Funny Little Bunnies, Kay was always hard at work to incorporate the characters into licensing deals. One of Kay’s most successful deals was one which saved watch manufacturer Ingersoll Waterbury from bankruptcy. In 1933, when the company introduced the first-ever Mickey Mouse watch, it was such a huge hit, and on that one day alone Macy’s in New York sold a record of 11,000 timepieces. After 17 years with Disney, Kay died in a plane crash on this day in 1949, leaving behind a tremendous legacy. Although his name may not be well known, the next time you see any piece of Disney merchandise, why not take a moment to remember the name Kay Kamen?