Walt Disney Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1901 – 1966 *** Full Name: Walter Elias “Walt” Disney *** Occupation: American Entrepreneur, Cartoonist, Voice Actor, Film Producer and Animator *** Date of Birth: Walt Disney was born on December 5th 1901 *** Place of Birth: Walt Disney was born in Chicago’s Hermosa community area, USA *** Family background: His father was Elias Charles Disney of Irish-Canadian descent and his mother was Flora Call of German and English descent *** Early life and childhood: Walt Disney grew up with his parents and brother’s Herbert, Roy and Raymond and sister Ruth *** Education: Walt Disney attended Park School, later attending the Benton Grammar School and also attended Saturday courses at Kansas City Art Institute. Walt Disney also attended McKinley High School as well as taking night classes at the Chicago Academy for Fine Arts *** Walt Disney died on December 15, 1966.
Walt Disney Fact 1: Walt Disney was born on December 5th 1901 and during the 20th century period in history when great strides were being made in technology, medicine and aviation.
Walt Disney Fact 2: The family moved around a number of times as Walt Disney was growing up. He was born in Chicago, they then moved to Marceline in Missouri before moving on to Kansas City and then moving back to Chicago.
Walt Disney Fact 3: Having dropped out of high school Walt Disney attempted to join the army during World War I but was refused for being too young. Instead, Walt Disney and a friend joined the Red Cross and would be sent to France, this was only after the Armistice had been signed and he drove an ambulance for one year.
Walt Disney Fact 4: Once he returned to the U.S. Walt Disney considered becoming an actor before deciding to become a political caricaturist or draw comic strips for a newspaper. Unfortunately he could not get a job either drawing or as an ambulance drive. His brother however, managed to get him a job through a bank colleague where he worked, and Walt Disney was hired at the Pesmen-Rubin Art Studio to draw advertisement for newspapers, movie theatres and magazines. He also made a friend there called Ubbe Iwerks.
Walt Disney Fact 5: Although the two friends started a company together it was short lived. Moving on to work for Kansas City Film Ad Company Walt Disney became involved with animation and decided this was the career he wanted to pursue.
Walt Disney Fact 6: He borrowed a camera from his boss and read the book Animated Cartoons: How They Are Made, Their Origin and Development.
Walt Disney Fact 7: So well did you progress that Walt Disney decided to open his own business, Laugh-O-Grams, and took with him a Fred Harman. Lack of experience caused this operation to end up bankrupt.
Walt Disney Fact 8: Walt Disney and his brother Roy decided to go to Hollywood. Combining their funds together started another company called Disney Brothers’ Studio. The Iwerks family also relocated together with Virginia Davis who had worked for the brothers previously.
Walt Disney Fact 9: By 1925 another employee was hired, Lillian Bounds, her job was to ink and paint celluloid. She and Walt Disney began dating and by July that same year they married.
Walt Disney Fact 10: Their first venture with Alice Comedies featuring a live Alice character, although initially popular, soon fizzled out.
Walt Disney Fact 11: Their next venture was in collaboration with Universal Pictures with Disney as the producer. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was virtually an overnight success but with Charles Mintz wanting to reduce Disney's fees rather than increase them for the success, the Disney brothers’ said no.
Walt Disney Fact 12: Having lost Oswald Walt needed a replacement character and began reworking a character he had created for Laugh-O-Gram that was never used. Originally named Mortimer, Walt’s wife Lillian said it didn’t fit and decided on Mickey instead. Mickey Mouse was born!
Walt Disney Fact 13: Although their initial silent Mickey Mouse cartoons did not prove successful, when they added sound and with the assistance of Pat Powers who provided the distribution and a sound-synchronization process called Cinephone, Steamboat Willie was a massive success.
Walt Disney Fact 14: Their first two cartoons, Plane Crazy and The Galloping Gaucho were re-released with soundtracks and were also successful. Mickey Mouse even began to outshine Felix the Cat, a rival cartoon.
Walt Disney Fact 15: In 1932 Walt Disney was honored with a special Academy Award for Mickey Mouse and by 1935 Mickey Mouse was in color and joined by further characters, Goofy, Pluto and Donald Duck.
Walt Disney Fact 16: By 1934 Walt Disney was in the process of planning a feature length animated movie and, as hard as Lillian and Roy tried to talk him out of the idea the more determined he was to complete it.
Walt Disney Fact 17: Walt Disney employed new people, used new techniques and arranged training for his people to put the new project into production.Walt Disney Fact 18: Work began in 1934 and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was completed in 1937. It was released on February of 1938 and became the most success film of the year.
Walt Disney Fact 19: Walt Disney Studios began producing more animate films and Pinocchio, Fantasia, Bambi and Alice in Wonderland followed.
Walt Disney Fact 20: The Disney empire went from strength to strength over the success decades but Walt himself, a very heavy chain smoker, although he made a point of not smoking around children, was having pre-operative X-rays for an old injury caused by playing polo, discovered a tumor in his lung.
Walt Disney Fact 21: Walt Disney died on December 15, 1966 in St Joseph’s Hospital of acute circulatory collapse as a result of lung cancer. His remains interred at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.
Influence & Legacy: Although Roy had retired when Walt Disney died, he came out of retirement to head up the business. Walt’s legacy is one of the millions of happy children across the globe that have enjoyed his films from generation to generation. As the creator of The Walt Disney Company it owns five vacation resorts, eleven theme parks, two water parks, thirty nine hotels, eight motion picture studio’s and the Disney Cruise Line.
Short Facts about Walt Disney for Kids
The above short facts detail interesting information about the life, milestones, history and key events that occurred during the life of this famous character, Walt Disney. A fast, simple way to present a short biography of Walt Disney with important dates and info that provides details such as the date of birth (birthday), place of birth, education, family, work and career. An ideal educational resource for kids, schools, teachers and social studies.