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Walt Disney: Creator of Mickey Mouse

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Walter Elias Disney better known as the creator of the well-known character Mickey Mouse and maker of Disneyland and Walt Disney World was a very successful and rich man but nothing came easy for him.

Walt Disney was born on December 5, 1901, in a small place in Hermosa Chicago, Illinois. Walt was one of five children his mother was Flora Call Disney and his father was Elias Disney. As a young child Walt lived in Marceline, Missouri he began to draw and paint and sold his paintings to neighbors and close family friends. At the age of ten his family moved to Kansas City, there he discovered a fascination for trains; he would work during summers with his uncle selling newspaper and snacks to travelers.

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Walt went to McKinley High school and took photography and drawing classes he even joined the school paper. When he was 16 Walt dropped out of high school and to join the army but was not able to because of his age, so joined the Red Cross and was sent to work in France driving an ambulance. After a year he came back to Kansas City and began to be an artist for a newspaper.

His brother got him a job at an Art Studio, where he met cartoon artist Ub Iwerks. Disney worked at the Kansas City Film Ad Company where he made commercials out of cutout animation. Disney decided to experiment with a camera and opened his own animation business and hired Fred Harman who had worked with him before. Disney and Harman made a deal with a local theater to show their cartoons, that were called Laugh-O-Grams their cartoons were very popular. Walt was able to get his own studio, but by 1923, the studio was full of debt, and Disney had to go bankrupt.

Disney along with his brother Roy joined their money and moved to Hollywood, his close friend Iwerks also moved to California, and the three began the Disney Brothers’ Studio. Their first deal was with New York distributor Margaret Winkler and was contracted for $1,500 each. Later they found out that Winkler and her husband stole their ides. So, the brothers and their wives and Iwerks designed a new character called Mickey Mouse. At first the films had no sound and failed but later the films were made with sound, Walt was the voice of Mickey and from their own was very successful. Later on, in 1929 Disney made more animations, and made Mickey’s new friends, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and Pluto.

Disneyland theme park opened on July 17, 1955, in Anaheim, California and cost 17 million to make, the theme park became known as the happiest place on earth their families could enjoy rides and meet the Disney characters. The park was and to this day is amusing tourists from around the world. Disneyland has expanded over time and expanded around the world with parks in Paris Tokyo, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. California Adventure opened in 2001.

In 1966, Disney was diagnosed with lung cancer; he then died on December 15, 1966, at the age of 65. After his brother’s death, Roy carried on the plans to finish the Florida theme park, which opened in 1971 under the name Walt Disney World.

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