Michael Broggie (born June 19, 1942) is an historian and author who has researched the life and legacy of Walt Disney. As a public speaker, he toured the country lecturing on his first-person experiences with Walt Disney and many of the Disney Legends, including his father, Roger E. Broggie, who was selected by Walt Disney to be his first Imagineer.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Broggie grew up between Lake Arrowhead and the San Fernando Valley. His father, Roger E. Broggie, was the head of Walt Disney Studio's machine shop. As a small child, Michael Broggie got to ride on Walt Disney's backyard 1/8-scale model railroad, which his father helped to build(see Carolwood Pacific Railroad). At age 12, Broggie test-drove the miniature Autopia cars at the studio and accompanied Walt Disney on the initial run of Disneyland Railroad's steam trains on June 18, 1955.
Broggie earned an MBA and a doctorate in Marketing - summa cum laude - at Pacific University, San Diego; a BA in Communications from California State University, Northridge; and an AA in Journalism - with honors - from Los Angeles Valley College. He is a veteran of the United States Air Force, where he served in the Aerospace Medical Command as a pharmacy specialist. He attended Lincoln University School of Law, San Francisco but did not graduate. He attended Rim of the World High School at Lake Arrowhead and graduated from North Hollywood High School. In 2010, he was awarded an Honorary Diploma by Rim of the World High School, where his family annually sponsors music scholarship awards to a graduating boy and girl in memory of his mother, Thelma C. Broggie, who was a concert violinist.
Broggie's first job with Disney was in 1960, as an attractions Cast Member (ride operator) at Disneyland on the Autopia and Mine Train during summer seasons while attending college. After completing his undergraduate education, he joined the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California, as a publicity writer in the motion picture marketing department.
For three years in the early 1970s, he returned to his hometown of Lake Arrowhead and served as the executive vice president and general manager of Lake Arrowhead Development Company, owners and developers of the resort. Under his administration, the lake was transferred to a community corporation owned in common by area property owners.
On behalf of the model railroad industry, Broggie appeared in 30 cities as the featured presenter of “Walt Disney's Railroad Story” on a national tour titled “World's Greatest Hobby.”
With his wife, Sharon, he is co-founder and Chairman of the Carolwood Pacific Historical Society and the Carolwood Foundation, which operates Walt Disney's Carolwood Barn Museum in Griffith Park, on behalf of Walt Disney's family.
A member of the Westlake Yacht Club, he was founder and served as the initial CEO of The Nautical Foundation, a non-profit corporation that raises funds to promote the values and opportunities of youth and competitive sailing.
He and Sharon reside at Prescott Lakes, Arizona.
Broggie is the author or co-author of eight books. His book released in June 2006 Air Force One: The Final Mission, describing the history of the Presidential Boeing 707 installed at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. His 430-page book, Walt Disney’s Railroad Story, was awarded in 1998 with the Benjamin Franklin Gold Metal for Best Biography from the Publishers Marketing Association (PMA). Broggie's biographical profile of Warren Buffett’s longtime partner, Charlie Munger, is contained in a 470-page book edited by Peter Kaufman, Poor Charlie’s Almanack, released in 2005. His inspirational book of photographs and modivational words beginning with the letter C titled "Walt Disney's Words of Wisdom" was released in 2010. "The History of Disney Merchandise" was written for The Walt Disney Company in 2001. "Walt Disney's Happy Place," is an illustrated biography of Walt Disney designed for shared reading by children and adults. He is the author of the official souvenir guide to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. As a commission by the City of Irwindale, California, he researched and wrote "The History of Irwindale: Garden of Rocks." He has authored and edited numerous articles for regional and national publications.
- He wrote the book on Disney's love for trains..., David Greenberg, Daily News, 1999