Walt Disney

Walter Elias Disney (1901 - 1966)

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Walter Elias (Walt) Disney
Born in Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 13 Jul 1925 in Nez Perce, Idaho, USAmap
Died in Burbank, Los Angeles, California, United Statesmap
Profile last modified 7 May 2019 | Created 2 Jan 2009
This page has been accessed 6,345 times.
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Walter Elias Disney was born on December 5, 1901 in Chicago, Illinois in Cook County to Elias and Flora (Call) Disney. Elias was Irish-Canadian and Flora was of German and English descent. Walt's great-grandfather, Arundel Elias Disney, emigrated from Ireland where he was born in 1801. Arundel was a descendant of Robert d'Isigny, a Frenchman who had traveled to England with William the Conqueror in 1066. The family changed the d'Isigny name to "Disney" and settled in the English village now known as Norton Disney, south of the city of Lincoln, in the county of Lincolnshire.

Walt Disney is a cultural icon. He was an American entrepreneur, cartoonist, animator, voice actor, and film producer and known for his influence and contributions to entertainment during the 20th century. In 1923 he and his brother Roy O. Disney co-founded The Walt Disney Company.

Walt and his staff created numerous famous fictional characters including Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy. He was the original voice for Mickey. During his lifetime, he won 22 Academy Awards and received four honorary Academy Awards from a total of 59 nominations, including a record of four in one year.

Walt died from lung cancer on December 15, 1966 in Burbank, California, leaving behind a vast legacy.


  • US Federal Census; Year: 1910; Census Place: Marceline, Linn, Missouri; Roll: T624_795; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0084; FHL microfilm: 1374808 (Ancestry.com link)
  • US Federal Census; Year: 1920; Census Place: Kansas City Ward 10, Jackson, Missouri; Roll: T625_926; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 166; Image: 1146 (Ancestry.com link)
  • US Federal Census; Year: 1930; Census Place: Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; Roll: 132; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 0004; Image: 172.0; FHL microfilm: 2339867 (Ancestry.com link)
  • US Federal Census; Year: 1940; Census Place: Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; Roll: T627_393; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 60-78A (Ancestry.com link)
  • National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; NARA Series: Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 - March 31, 1925; Roll #: 628; Volume #: Roll 0628 - Certificates: 45250-45499, 14 Nov 1918-15 Nov 1918
  • State of California. California Death Index, 1940-1997. Sacramento, CA, USA: State of California Department of Health Services, Center for Health Statistics. (Ancestry.com link)

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the local theater and as a way to bring more people in the barbershop hung his work in the window to get people to come see them each week.

They moved to Chicago in 1917 and Walt went to the Institue of Art. He got money from his dad for the classes by telling him it was an educational experience.

More can be learned about his career from the scholastic book "I am Walt Disney" by Grace Norwich.


Norwich, Grace, I am Walt Disney, 2014, Scholastic Inc. pgs 1-40

posted by Lisa (Kelsey) Murphy
team. Everyone made 3 dollars a week except walt. At 9 he had to help deliver in the morning, catch a quick nap and then head to school for part of the day. When he left early it was to get the nightly papers and start night time deliveries.

So he could actually earn spending money, he worked as a delivery person for a pharmacy in the area.

In 1916 he kicked a piece of ice and a nail was inside of it. The nail got stuck in his foot and he had to scream for help. 20 minutes later another delivery boy found him and took him to the doctor.

when he was a little older his teacher would catch him proping up books to hide his drawing instead of studying. She chose to encourage him and had him do the posters they needed for the school events. He also drew for

posted by Lisa (Kelsey) Murphy
took the tar and painted on the side of the family's home. His parents were not very pleased as it never would come off.

His dad did not know how to take care of the animals and he refused to use fertilizer until it was too late for it to help. This caused the farm to fail and they could not keep warm or live very well. They had to leave the farm in 1911.

They moved to Kansas City, Missouri in a extremely small house with no indoor plumbing. When they had company, walt and roy would have to sleep in the shed in the back yard.

There was an amusement park near the home and although walt and ruth were not allowed to go in, they would stand and watch everyone from the outside of the gates.

His dad bought a paper route for the Kansas City Star. He had Walt and Roy as part of the delivery

posted by Lisa (Kelsey) Murphy
hello to every animal each morning on his way out to do chores.

No one could take him to school when he was old enough so he did not attend until Lucy was old enough and they both went together then. He did not like school and spent most of his time drawing flip books instead of studying.

His dad's brother was more successful and acted bossy and more important than everyone else when he would visit the farm. Walt liked when he would come though because his wife would always encourage him to draw by bringing paper and art supplies.

Doc Sherwood was his neighbor and was very well known.He let Walt ride with him for errands and housecalls. He taught walt it was ok not to know everything.

Walt found a barrel of soft black tar. When he saw it, he had ideas of how to use it to draw. He

posted by Lisa (Kelsey) Murphy
When he was little his family had trouble making ends meet. His mom worked with his dad in construction.

They moved every couple years while Walt was growing up, because they needed to find new work.

HIs dad had a bad temper and was very strict. No drinking, dancing or silliness was allowed.

1906 he and his siblings were excited when they moved to the farm in Marceline, Missouri. They had a one story wooden farmhouse on 45 acres of farmlands and apple orchards. Walt said they had every kind of apple you could ever hear of. They loved swimming and fishing for catfish.

On the farm, walt's job was to make sure the pigs did not get into any trouble. One of them, named skinny, really liked Walt. She would go looking for him around the house if she had not seen him for a while. He said

posted by Lisa (Kelsey) Murphy
My 17th cousin 3x removed, thanks for your work!
posted by Amber (Pike) Boicourt
Could you add a picture and marriage info please, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walt_Disney. Perhaps a very short biography with genealogically important information. Thanks so much, Bob Fields, GFT Notables project leader. And add template {{Notables}
posted by Bob Fields

Walt is 21 degrees from Donald Howard, 17 degrees from Julia Howe and 17 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.