Walt Disney was born in Chicago’s Hermosa Neighborhood in 1901. He had three older brothers, Herbert, Raymond and Roy, and one young sister, Ruth.
In 1911 The Disney family moved to Kansas City, Missouri. Where both Walt and Roy started working as paperboys when not attending school.
Though his grade’s slipped due to his work as a paperboy, Walt still found himself enamored by art and cartooning, taking Saturday courses at the Kansas City Art Institute, as well as a correspondence course in cartooning.
The above cartoon by Walt, was like many he drew for his high school’s school newspaper, depicting WWI. Later, in 1918 Walt Disney forged his birth date on his birth certificate so that he could join the red cross as an ambulance driver.
Walt was shipped to France, arriving after the Armistice, and served until 1919. During his time in France he drew cartoons on the side of his ambulance, some of which were featured in the Stars and Stripes periodical.
With a friend in Nice, before returning to Kansas City.
Once home, Walt went to work as a commercial cartoonist for a handful of companies, before becoming enamored with animation.
The lack of work available in standard cartooning, led Walt to delve into cell animation, creating his first live action/animated film, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in 1923.
In July 1923, Walt Disney moved to Hollywood California, where he and his brother Roy started Disney Brother’s Studios (Later to become The Walt Disney Company), producing 6 Alice short films.
In 1925, Walt hired a young ink artist to work at the studio. Her name was Lillian Bounds, and she and Walt were married later that year.
In 1928, Mickey Mouse appeared for the first time on screen in Steamboat Willie.
In 1933, Disney welcomed the first of two daughters, Diane and Sharon. The family did their best to keep the girls out of the spotlight, especially in light of the Lindbergh baby kidnapping.
In 1934 Disney began production of the studio’s first full length animated feature, Snow White. It was such a controversial project, that many in Hollywood dubbed it, “Disney’s Folly”.
However, when it premiered in 1937, it was such a smash hit, that it was given an elaborate honorary Oscar, thus began the “Golden Era” of Disney animation.
In 1954 Walt Disney proposed a new venture for the company, a theme park. Below, you can see him presenting the initial building plans to city officials in Orange County California.
And later on one of Disney’s television shows, he announced the project and lead viewers through what they could expect at Disneyland.
Only 1 year after presenting plans for the park, Disneyland opened in July of 1955.
By the time of his death from Lung Cancer in 1966, Walt Disney had been involved in the creation of 81 feature films.