Walt Disney

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Walt Disney

Walter Elias Disney

Born in Chicago on Dec. 5, 1901, Walter was one of five children. He grew up on a small farm in Marceline, Mo.

In 1919, Disney began his career as a commercial artist and cartoonist in Kansas City, Mo. He started a tiny company called Laugh-O-Gram Films, but eventually had to declare bankruptcy. In 1923, he moved to Hollywood to set up a small studio with his brother, Roy. They first developed two silent Mickey Mouse cartoons, but could not find a distributor for the films. When sound became available to add to film, Disney added a synchronized soundtrack to "Steamboat Willie" and introduced Mickey to the public. With the success of Mickey and other short cartoons, Disney began work on the first full-length animated film, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." Despite its critics, when the film opened in 1937, it was a box-office hit.

One of Walt Disney's riskiest, but most successful, ventures was Disneyland in Anaheim, California, which opened in 1955. In the '60s, Disney started planning the Florida Project, which would eventually become Walt Disney World. He did not live to see the project completed. In 1966, Disney died at age 65. The flag at Disneyland flew at half-staff.

“If you can dream it, you can do it.Always remember that this whole thing was started with a dream and a mouse.”


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