A Brief Walt Disney Biography

A Walt Disney biography documents the life and work of one of the most influential figures of the 20th century. Disney and his various businesses, from animation to movie studios to his famous theme parks, left a lasting legacy that continues to impact the entertainment industry worldwide.

Early Life
Walt Disney was born the fourth son to Elias and Flora Disney on Dec. 5, 1901. The family lived in Chicago young Walt's first five years, then moving to Missouri. Family members reported that the young Disney expressed an early talent for drawing and artworks, selling sketches for money. At age 16, he joined the Red Cross and worked in France driving an ambulance.

Early Business Ventures
After trying his hand-and failing-at a failed commercial art studio, Disney headed to California to open the Disney Bros. Studio with his older brother, Roy. "The Alice Comedies," their first cartoon series, was an instant success, enabling the animation studio to produce a series of firsts-the first color cartoon, first multi-plane camera cartoon and the first cartoon to use sound. His famous cartoon character, Mickey Mouse, was a worldwide phenomenon. Disney married one of his animation inkers, Lillian, in 1925. Their early success continued with the first full-length animated movie, "Snow White," which debuted in 1937.

Ongoing Success
Disney's studios would go on to produce classic animated films, such as "Cinderella" and "Peter Pan," and also expanded into the live action movie genre, with nature films and documentaries. Award-winning feature films, television shows and the 1955 debut of Disneyland, his Disney-themed amusement park, all firmly cemented Disney as a master entertainer with vision and forsight that spanned decades. In his personal life, Disney and his wife welcomed two daughters into their family.

Later Years
With the success of Disneyland in California, Disney set to work on developing another amusement park in Florida in the early 1960s. His health was declining from years of smoking, but the awards and accolades for his life's work kept coming. Before he died of lung cancer in 1966, Disney's films and pictures had been nominated for 59 Academy Awards, winning 26, as well as 7 Emmy Awards. 

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