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Dave Hollis, former Disney executive and ex-husband of motivational speaker Rachel Hollis, dies at 47

Dave Hollis, an author, former Disney executive and the ex-husband of writer Rachel Hollis, has died at age 47, a representative confirmed to CBS News on Tuesday. 

Hollis' literary agent, Kevan Lyon, told CBS News in a statement that Hollis died over the weekend. No cause of death was immediately provided.

"I had the great honor of working with him on several books, including his most recent release with his daughter Noah," Lyon said. "My thoughts are with his children and his family now in this very difficult and devastating time."

Dave Hollis
Dave Hollis, president of theatrical distribution for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, speaks during CinemaCon on April 24, 2018, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Gabe Ginsberg / Getty Images

Rachel Hollis, who shared four children with Dave Hollis, posted about his death on Instagram. 

"We are so devastated," she wrote Tuesday. "I have no words and my heart is too broken to find them. Please wrap the kids in prayer as we try and navigate through the unthinkable," she wrote.

He had been recently hospitalized after experiencing heart-related issues, Variety reported Monday.

Hollis previously was president of sales for the film studio at The Walt Disney Company, according to his website.

After his wife's blog and 2018 book, "Girl, Wash Your Face," gained widespread popularity, he left Disney — after having been there for 17 years — and became CEO of The Hollis Company, which focused on producing media content, books and events.

"I finally one day said, 'Fine, I don't trust it. I think that there's some snake oil in this personal development space but it's worked for you. I have to at least see what it's about,'" he told The Associated Press in September 2018.

Together, the couple ran popular self-improvement seminars. 

After he and Rachel Hollis filed for divorce in 2020, he continued to work as a life coach and run a similar business, authoring books including "Get Out of Your Own Way: A Skeptic's Guide to Growth and Fulfillment," and "Built Through Courage: Face Your Fears to Live the Life You Were Meant for," and hosting the "Rise Together" podcast. The most recent episode of the health-focused interview podcast was posted on Feb. 9.

Hollis also founded the Dave Hollis Giving Fund -- which aims to aid children in foster care, homeless teens and the food insecure -- and was a four-time foster parent, according to his website.

He has also served on the board of the membership committee for the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences, and was a member of the Academy. He served on boards for Fandango Labs, Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers, National Angels and Pepperdine's Institute for Entertainment Media and Culture, where he attended school. 

Fellow motivational speaker Mel Robbins posted about Hollis after his death, saying she and her husband, Chris, loved him like a brother. 

"You made me laugh harder than anyone I've ever met. We could talk about anything, and to anyone, for hours and hours. And we did. Everywhere we went there was laughter," she wrote.

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