Walt Disney Today is Walt Disney’s birthday! He was born in Chicago’s Hermosa community in 1901. His name has since become synonymous with entertainment and enchantment.

Disney attended McKinley High School in Chicago, where he took drawing and photography classes and was a contributing cartoonist for the school paper. At night, he took courses at the Art Institute of Chicago.

In 1919, after pursuing careers as a newspaper artist and an advertisement animator, Disney decided to open his own animation business. Disney was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1923, but soon moved to Hollywood with his brother Roy and began the Disney Brothers’ Cartoon Studio, which later became Walt Disney Studios.

Disney’s first successful film starring Mickey Mouse was a sound-and-music-equipped animated short called Steamboat Willie. They produced more than 100 feature films. His first full-length animated film was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which produced an unimaginable $1.5 million and won eight Oscars.

Disneyland opened on July 17, 1955 in Anaheim, Calif. Within a few years of Disneyland’s opening, Disney began plans for a new theme park, including the Experimental Protype Community of Tomorrow (EPCOT) in Florida.

Disney passed away from lung cancer in 1966, before the park could be completed. After his death, his brother carried on the plans to finish the Florida theme park, which opened in 1971 under the name Walt Disney World.

For more information on Walt Disney’s legacy, click here.

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