Born Walter Elias Disney (12/5/1901) in Chicago, one of 4 brothers, moved as infant to a farm in Marceline, MO., then helped his father deliver newspapers. He became interested in art cartooning and took classes in Kansas City, then in 1917 family returned to Chicago.
WW1 found him driving a Red Cross truck in Europe, then returning to K.C. in 1919 to continue his art classes and there met the talented Ub Iwerks.
He convinced his brother ROY as business manager and the 3 moved to Los Angeles and began producing silent ‘shorts’(advertising) for theaters. Their first ‘talkie’, Steamboat Willie appeared in 1928, with Mickey Mouse.
The period of the great Depression really launched the Disney ‘empire’, with Donald Duck, Goofy and Pluto the uplifting characters for the affected. Then came ‘Snow White’, Pinocchio (1940), Fantasia (1940). They continued thru WWII with full-length films like ‘Mary Poppins’ (1964), all successful.
He envisioned a make-believe world, which was then actually constructed and became known as Disneyland in 1955, and then Walt Disney World (Florida) in 1971(year of his death), and EPCOT.
To the critics he said: ‘I’ve never called this art’, It’s show business and I am a Showman’!
If you can make it to GULFPEX 2023, you will see a LOT of Disney things, in the Exhibits and in the Silent Auction! See you there! J.Barrett