Walter Elias “Walt” Disney was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, entertainer, international icon and philanthropist. Disney is famous for his influence in the field of entertainment during the 20th century. As the co-founder of Walt Disney Productions, Disney became one of the best-known motion picture producers in the world. The corporation he co-founded, now known as The Walt Disney Company, today has annual revenues of approximately U.S. $35 billion.
Disney is particularly noted for being a film producer and a popular showman, as well as an innovator in animation and theme park design. He and his staff created a number of the world’s most famous fictional characters including Mickey Mouse, a character for which Disney himself was the original voice. He has won 26 Academy Awards out of 59 nominations, including a record four in one year, giving him more awards and nominations than any other individual. He also won seven Emmy Awards. He is the namesake for Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort theme parks in the United States, as well as the international resorts in Japan, France, and China.
Disney died of lung cancer in Burbank, California, on December 15, 1966. The following year, construction began on Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. His brother Roy Disney inaugurated The Magic Kingdom on October 1, 1971.
Walter Elias Disney was born on December 5, 1901, to Elias Disney, of Irish-Canadian descent, and Flora Call Disney, of German-American descent, in Chicago’s Hermosa community area at 2156 N. Tripp Ave.