Happy Birthday, Walt Disney!

“I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing–that it was all started by a mouse.”—Walt Disney

“Walt Disney shows Disneyland plans to Orange County officials, Dec. 1954.”
Photo credit: Orange County Archives / Foter / CC BY

On Dec. 5, 1901, Walter Elias Disney was born in Chicago, Illinois. Walt Disney is regarded as one of the most influential figures in the entertainment industry during the 20th century. He created the beloved cartoon character Mickey Mouse and revolutionized the theme park industry by building Disneyland. Walt was an innovator and visionary leader who became a cultural icon.

He co-founded the media conglomerate that is now known as The Walt Disney Company with his brother Roy O. Disney in 1923. He was a pioneer in the animation industry, a film and television producer, an entrepreneur, and a dreamer. He was even the original voice of Mickey Mouse.

Walt Disney died of acute circulatory collapse brought on by lung cancer on Dec. 15, 1966. He was 65. Although Walt Disney has been dead for almost 50 years, his legacy lives on. Generations of children have grown up watching his animated classics and live-action films, including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and Mary Poppins. Millions of people continue to enjoy his theme parks each year and The Walt Disney Company has become an entertainment empire.

In honor of Walt Disney’s birthday, explore his life and legendary career through resources available in ProQuest eLibrary and SIRS WebSelect:

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Walt Disney

Walt Disney Research Topic

Walt Disney Company Research Topic

Walter Elias Disney

Walt Disney Timeline

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