Photo Source: Zimbio

Photo Source: Zimbio

The Senior Vice President of Government Relations for the Walt Disney Company, Richard M. Bates, passed away on January 1st, 2021 at the age of 70. Bob Iger shared the news along with his sadness over his passing in a tweet.

“I am heartbroken by the sudden loss of longtime colleague & dear friend Richard Bates—a widely respected executive, who was also extraordinarily kind, charming & irresistibly witty,” Bob Iger shared. “His loss is profound & our prayers are with his wife Rose & sons Ricky & Chris.”

A native of Fairfax, Virginia, Richard M. Bates was Director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee before joining The Walt Disney Company in 1991, founding the company’s Washington, D.C., government relations office. In this role, he advocated for the company’s positions and monitored their political interests as a lobbyist. He remained in his role of Senior Vice President of Government Relations for Disney until his passing. He also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of The Media Institute.

Both Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger and Chief Executive Officer Bob Chapek released a joint statement regarding the passing of Richard M. Bates.

“All of us at Disney are heartbroken by the sudden loss of our longtime colleague and dear friend Richard Bates. As head of our Government Relations team in Washington, D.C., Richard was second to none in his field —- widely respected for his incredible achievements and beloved for his extraordinary kindness, compassion, and irresistible wit. He was passionate about his work and approached it with the same astuteness and unwavering enthusiasm he demonstrated when he first joined Disney three decades ago. For those of us lucky enough to have known Richard personally, his loss is profound. He will be deeply missed, and our prayers and heartfelt condolences go out to his wife Rose, their sons Ricky and Chris, and his entire family.”