Happy Birthday, Walt Disney!

It’s a special day in Disney history! December 5, 2022 marks 121 years since the birth of the man behind the mouse, Walter Elias Disney!

Walt Disney was born in Chicago Illinois, the son of Elias Disney and Flora Call Disney. Walt was one of five children, a girl and four boys. (Photo: D23)

To honor Walt today, here are some fun facts about the man who started it all:

  1. Walt discovered his calling at a young age. At age 7, Walt sold his very first early sketches to neighbors. His neighbor “Doc” Sherwood paid Walt for drawings of Doc’s horse, Rupert. (ABC7)
  2. At age 16, Walt attempted to enlist for the military. However, because he was only 16, he was rejected for service. So what did Walt do? He found a way to help, in the most Walt was possible. “…Walt joined the Red Cross and was sent overseas, where he spent a year driving an ambulance and chauffeuring Red Cross officials. His ambulance was covered from stem to stern, not with stock camouflage, but with drawings and cartoons”. (D23)
  3. For his work throughout his career, Walt Disney has a whopping 32 personal Academy Awards! (D23)
  4. A total of 81 features were released by the studio during his lifetime. Some of the early favorites being ‘The Three Caballeros’, and of course ‘Mary Poppins’ (D23).
  5. In addition to feature films and shorts, Walt Disney was a pioneer in the world of television programming. Walt was “among the first to present full-color programming with his Wonderful World of Color in 1961″. (D23)

We owe so much to Walt Disney. He was truly a pioneer, and left a lasting impact on our society (and around the world). “His worldwide popularity was based upon the ideas which his name represents: imagination, optimism and self-made success in the American tradition. Walt Disney did more to touch the hearts, minds and emotions of millions of Americans than any other man in the past century”. (D23) For that, we are eternally grateful. Happy Birthday, Walt Disney!

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