Walter Elias Disney was born in Chicago, IL, on December 5th, 1901 to Elias and Flora Disney. The name Disney itself derives from his French ancestor d’Isigny (later changed to Disney).
When Walt Disney was only four years old, his family moved to a farm home in Marceline, MO, where he first developed his love for drawing. He began to draw pictures of things around his house and “re-draw” cartoons published in a local newspaper.
In 1911, at age 10, Walt moved with his family to Kansas City, KS, where he met theater enthusiast Walter Pfeiffer. Pfeiffer introduced him to motion pictures and vaudeville entertainment. These then occupied much of his time.
Even as a child, Walt was busy. He was attending grade school, ran a paper route, and went to Saturday classes at the Kansas City Art Institute.
In 1917, Walt went back to Chicago with his family. He graduated there from McKinley High School, where he acted as cartoonist for the school newspaper. He also took night classes at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts.
In 1919, Walt Disney moved to Kansas City to begin his career. At first, he drew political cartoons for a newspaper and ads for an art studio.
Later he started working for the Kansas City Film Ad Company. This is where he learned about animated cartoons.
Soon after he started his first animation studios called Laugh-O-Grams. This company went bankrupt a few years later.
In 1923, Disney moved to Hollywood. There he started the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, later renamed Walt Disney Company.
His first cartoons here were the Alice Comedies and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Disney lost the rights to Oswald.
In response, he created Mickey Mouse. His career expanded from there. His most impressive success was his innovation of full-length cartoon films. Beginning with Snow White in 1934.
After seven Emmy Awards, 22 Academy Awards, and one Cecil B. DeMille Award, Walt Disney died of lung cancer on December 15th, 1966. He was 65 years of age.
He left the world with a plethora of unforgettable film characters and a myriad of high moral and high-quality children’s films. His accomplishments have not been equaled.