Walt Disney Biography
Walt Disney once said, “I am interested in entertaining people, in bringing pleasure, particularly laughter, to others, rather than being concerned with ‘expressing’ myself with obscure creative impression.
” That is exactly what he did. This biography is going to discuss Disney’s life and the career choices he made. Included will be his birth through marriage, the accomplishments he made, and how he made a difference on the world. Welcome to the wonderful life and career of Walter Elias Disney. To begin with, Walt was born on December 5th, 1901 in Chicago, Illinois.
Elias Disney, Walt’s father, was of Irish and Canadian decent while his mother, Flora Call Disney, was German and American. Disney had three brothers and one sister. After Disney’s birth his family moved to Marceline, Missouri where he spent most of his childhood. They lived on a farm. A writer from Entrepreneur Magazine states, “Walt Disney’s childhood was anything but idyllic (“Walter Elias Disney”).
Disney attended McKinley high school during the day and took night classes at the Academy of Fine Arts. Since he had shown a very early interest in drawing, around the age eight, he divided his time between drawing and photography. He also contributed to his school newspaper. Not too long after he showed much interest for acting and performing. Years later, after being rejected to enlist in the army in 1918, Walt joined the Red Cross.
Upon returning from his duty in France, Disney began creating his first cartoon at his company Laugh-O Grams. He called these “The Alice Comedies” and it told the adventures about a girl who would venture into an animated world. Laugh-O-Grams soon went bankrupt so Walt packed his bags and headed to Hollywood in hopes his comic may get published. He believed in, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” So he chose not to give up. Walt Disney had no problem taking risks.
He stated in an interview with National Geographic Magazine, “”I don’t know anyone crazy enough” (Roos), meaning he doesn’t know anyone who would be crazy enough to take as many or the type of risks he has. His brother, Roy, helped him get a business going out there by pooling their money together and not long after Walt struck big and his comic was published. That wasn’t the only miracle that had happened. On July 13th, 1925 Walter married Lillian Bounds who was an employee of his, one of his first to be exact. They then went on to have two daughters, Diane and Sharon.
Continuing on, Disney accomplished more in his life than an average human being could ever dream of doing. On December 21st, 1937 his first movie, “Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs” was aired. Though shorter than most movies today, it was considered the first full length film. It was in color and had sound. Once released onto video, ten million copies were sold in the first week.
Disney was given credit to being a producer in 680 films, 114 as director, and 124 as an actor. Luxury Magazine did a story of Disney’s success. In that article they stated “Yet, Walt Disney always stated that he never created films to earn money, but he earned money to create films” (“Walt Disney-Makes”). Overall he produced 19 full length films. The last movie that had his ideas in it was “The Jungle Book”. According to from the Marshall Space Flight Center, Disney made a great accomplishment with the program.
“Von Braun served as technical advisor on three space-related television films that Disney produced in the 1950s. Together, von Braun (the engineer) and Disney (the artist) used the new medium of television to illustrate how high man might fly on the strength of technology and the spirit of human imagination” (Wright). That was one of Disney’s specialties, imagination. Besides making movies that are still cherished today and helping the Space Center, Walt Disney won countless awards. He was nominated for 59 Oscars but only actually won 22 of them. Only 22, what do you mean only? That’s the most awards any one has ever won in Oscar history.
Now not many people can say that. Oscars were not the only trophy’s he won. Disney received a couple Oscars and a few Golden Laurel awards. For the creation of Mickey Mouse, he won an honorary award at the Oscar’s in 1932, and another one in 1942 for Fantasia. He received many special awards not only in the United States but throughout the world for his other films.
Eventually he received two stars on the walk of fame. One for his films and another for his television shows. Last, Disney impacted so many people’s lives while he was living and even after he died. As stated in an article in Entrepreneur, “Few individuals have had a greater impact on both the entertainment industry and the popular culture of the 20th century than Walter Elias Disney (“Walter Elias Disney”). The largest way he made a difference was the creation of his theme park.
Disney was only alive to see Disneyland in California being built. It was suppose to be the cleanest and nicest theme park unlike others at that time. Now it wasn’t they simplest of things for Disney to get the money to be the park. Also, according to Entrepreneur magazine, “He mortgaged his life insurance, stock holdings, house and furniture to purchase an orange grove near Anaheim, California, and finance the construction of a 185-acre amusement park (“Walter Elias Disney”). He wanted everyone who walked through the gates of Disneyland to feel like they were kids again, and he accomplished that. Disneyland opened on July 17th, 1955.
After Walt’s death, 5 more Disney parks were opened: Disney World in Florida, California Adventures, and theme parks in Paris, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. These parks are visited by millions of people each year and create some of the best family memories. By creating these parks, he made a difference in an immense amount of people’s lives. Another was Walt made a difference was his optimism. He believed there would always be a tomorrow.
Looking back is not a good thing, the future is what matters. This is why he created EPCOT and Tomorrowland in Disney World. These are sections in the theme park based on all futuristic ideas. He wanted the world and everyone in it to grow. Another great concept Disney stuck in our minds was to use your imagination.
It is your greatest tool. Disney left a living legacy that will continue to touch so many people’s lives. All in all, Walter Elias Disney lived a wonderful life and made an amazing career for himself. He didn’t always have it easy in his early years but proved with dedication that anything is possible. He had an enormous amount of achievements and made a difference on an infinite amount of people’s lives.
His ideas, beliefs, and stories will continue to be a part of loads of families. He made a legacy from himself, and it will never die.