Walt Disney was born on December 5, 1901. Since he was a kid, Disney felt a deep attraction to drawing; and he was very good at it. After taking a few art classes, the then 18-year-old Disney took a job as an illustrator at an advertising company. A few years later, he left his job to start his own company: the Disney Brothers Studio. At Disney Studios, he created some of the characters we all know and love today — Mickey Mouse, Donal Duck, Cinderella, Snow White, and many more.
Walter Elias Disney
December 5, 1901
December 15, 1966 (age 65)
Walt Disney was an illustrator and entrepreneur born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1901. He was the son of Elias Disney, a Canadian of Irish descent, and Flora Dinsey, an American with German and English ancestry. He had three older brothers named Herbert, Raymond, and Roy, and a younger sister named Ruth. When he was four, his family moved to a farm in Marceline, Missouri. At the farm, young Disney found his passion for drawing. He used to draw horses and other animals that lived on his family’s farm. Four years later, his family moved to Kansas City, and before he entered high school, they moved again to the city of Chicago. The young artist attended art classes at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and became his high school’s paper cartoon animator. His love for illustration kept growing more and more.
When Disney turned 18, he worked as an illustrator at an advertising company. There, he met Ub Iwerks, a fellow animator, and cartoon artist. In 1920, Disney and Iwerks were laid off from their jobs. So Disney decided to start his own company. He started Laugh-O-Gram — an animation cartoon company — and hired some of his friends, among them Ub Iwerks. After a couple of years in the animation market, Laugh-O-Gram wasn’t doing really well. That was when Disney moved to Hollywood and opened the Disney Brothers Studio with his older brother Roy. Disney persuaded some of his former workers to also move to Los Angeles and join his new company.
At Disney Brothers Studio, Disney gave life to some of his most important creations — characters and films that would not only mark thousands of lives but would also open new doors to the animation world. Disney’s first big creation was the iconic character Mickey Mouse. Disney Brothers Studio had an incredible success; it became one of the most profitable companies in the world. In 1966, Disney died of lung cancer. His legacy stills live in all the films and characters he created and the millions of lives they were part of.
Walt Disney gets a job at the Pesmen-Rubin Commercial Art Studio
Disney launches Laugh-O-Gram
Disney and his brother Roy establish the Disney Brothers Studio
Disney creates his most iconic character, Mickey Mouse
Why We Love Walt Disney
His incredible legacy
Walt Disney’s creations are part of our lives. The films he helped produce marked millions of childhoods. Disney was a visionary; we are glad he got to share his vision with the world.
His high standards
Disney used to set high standards for himself and his employees. Those high standards lead him to create one of the biggest media and entertainment companies in the world, The Walt Disney Company.
His contribution to the world of animation
Disney was adventurous and bold when developing new cartoons and working on his films. This approach helped him expand his work to unknown territories. His experiment with color technologies and sounds opened many doors and brought huge progress into the world of animated films.
5 Surprising Facts
He did the voice of his cartoons
In the early years of his career, Walt Disney did the voice of some of his cartoons, Mickey Mouse among them.
Record of Academy Awards
Disney has the record for most Academy Awards earned by one individual: 22 Academy Awards.
His favorite cartoon
His favorite cartoon was “Goofy.”
His favorite princess
His favorite princess was Cinderella.
He dropped out of school
Disney dropped out of high school to join the World War I Red Cross.
Walt Disney FAQs
Who owned Disney after Walt Disney died?
His brother Roy Disney took over the company.
Who is Walt Disney's daughter?
Disney had two daughters, Diane and Sharon Disney.
Who is Walt Disney's wife?
Disney’s wife was Lillian Disney, from 1925 till his death in 1966.
Walt Disney’s birthday dates