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Thursday, July 4, 2019

DISNEYLAND Anniversary Month: Admiral Joe Fowler

Admiral Joe Fowler was an American hero. Having majored in naval engineering, it was he who oversaw the construction of the United States’ warships during World War II, ensuring that they were built efficiently, structurally sound and finished on time. He retired from the U.S. Navy after the war, but his reputation for getting things done earned him an appointment from President Eisenhower to locate and remove wasteful spending from the military.

Admiral Joe Fowler, Pictured left

By 1954, Admiral Fowler was working in the San Francisco Bay Area as a project manager for a company building tract homes. His reputation for getting things done quickly, on time and under budget had made him highly sought after in the construction business. When Walt Disney flew up to meet with him, however, Mr. Disney was only looking for someone to oversee the construction of the Mark Twain Steamboat. By the end of the impromptu interview, however, Walt knew that he had found his construction manager for DISNEYLAND. If anyone could make sure that this complicated, never before attempted project would get done quickly, it was Admiral Fowler.

Admiral Fowler showing a visiting dignitary Disneyland’s next project.

Walt’s decision to hire Admiral Fowler was a great one. Fowler took control of the project and made sure it was ready to open by the summer of 1955. Admiral Fowler was so good at his job that he became known as “Mr. Can Do” around the park. Admiral Fowler would become the General Manager at DISNEYLAND and would turn so many of Walt Disney’s dreams into reality. It was because of this American hero that, as Mr. Disney once noted, anything was possible in DISNEYLAND.