Walt Disney (1901 – 1966) was a film producer, media magnate and co-founder of the Walt Disney Company. He was an iconic figure in the Twentieth Century media and entertainment industry, helping to produce many films.
Born in Chicago in 1901, Disney developed an early interest in drawing. He took art classes as a boy and got a job as a commercial illustrator at the age of 18. He moved to California in the early 1920s and set up the Disney Brothers Studio with his brother Roy. Walt, along with his partners developed the character Mickey Mouse in 1928, his first highly popular success; he also provided the voice for his creation in the early years. Another popular cartoon character that he created is Donald Duck.
In the 1950s, Disney expanded into the amusement park industry, and in 1955 he opened Disneyland in California, United States.
A pioneer of the American animation industry, he introduced several developments in the production of cartoons. As a film producer, Disney holds the record for most Academy Awards earned by an individual, having won 22 Oscars from 59 nominations.
Disney was a heavy smoker throughout his life, and died of lung cancer in December 1966 at age of 65.