Biography of Walt Disney
Walt Disney was born Walter Elias Disney on December 5, 1901 to Elias Disney an Irish-Canadian and Flora Call Disney a German-American in Chicago, Illinois. At a young age Walt's family moved to Marceline, Missouri where he would develop his love for drawing. One of his neighbors was a retired doctor named "Doc" Sherwood who paid Walt to draw pictures of his horse, Rupert. While in Marceline, he also developed his love for trains.
The Disneys moved to Kansas City in 1910. Walter and his sister attened the Benton Grammar School where he met Walter Pfeiffer who introduced them to motion pictures.
In 1917, the Disney's moved to Chicago after Elias aquired shares in the O-Zell jelly factory. There, Walt attended McKinley High School and took night courses at the Chicago Art Institute. Disney was the cartoonist for the school newspaper, drawing patriotic cartoons focusing on World War I. At the age of 16, Disney dropped out of high school to join the Army, but was rejected for being underage.
Disney the moved back to Kansas City to begin his artistic career. His brother helped him get a job through a friend at Pesmen-Rubin Art Studio. There, he created ads for newspapers, magazines, and movie theaters. While working at the art studio Disney met Ubbe Iwerks and became close friends. They decided to start their own art business.
In January 1920, Disney and Iwerks formed "Iwerks-Disney Commercial Artists". After a tough start, Iwerks left temporarily to earn money at the Kansas City Film Ad Company. Disney soon followed and their company was bought by New York financial backers Winkler and Mintz.
Disney and his brother moved to Hollywood to set up their first cartoon studio in his uncle's garage. Walt sent an unfinished print to Winkler who quickly wrote back with a distribution deal for more live-action/animated shorts based on Alice's Wonderland.
Virginia Davis (the live-action star of Alice's Wonderland), her family, Iwerks and his family moved from Kansas City to Hollywood to create the Disney Brother's Studio. In 1925, Disney hired Lillian Bounds to ink and paint celluloid. After a period of dating, the two were married the same year.
The Disney Brothers' Studio soon changed its name to Walt Disney Studio and then to Walt Disney Productions and Walt Disney Enterprises and finally The Walt Disney Company. Walt Disney Studios is now a division of the larger "The Walt Disney Company" and the primary production location.
Walt Disney died of lung cancer on December 15, 1966.
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