It All Started With One Man: Happy Birthday Walt Disney!

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Walt Disney standing next to Carousel of Progress model

Credit: Disney

On this day, in 1901, an amazing man was born. Someone who was destined to change the world. Happy 121st Birthday Walt Disney!

Walt Disney hosting 1960s Wonderful World of Disney on TV
Credit: Disney

On December 5, 1901, Walter Elias Disney, one of America’s most outstanding entrepreneurs and modern geniuses, was born in Chicago to Elias Disney and Flora Call Disney.

Disney D23 celebrates Walt today by saying: I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing—that it was all started by WALT DISNEY! Happy 121st birthday to Walt!

Walt was one of five children: four boys and a girl.

Since he was a young boy, Walt had always had a love for trains. He had them all around his back yard in his California home. One of his most exciting realizations in building Disneyland was that he could have a real railroad!

At the age of 16, Walt joined the Red Cross and was sent overseas during World War I, where he spent a year driving an ambulance and chauffeuring Red Cross officials.

Walt Disney working with a mechanist on two tiny figures being made for Disneyland exhibits. These animatornic figures are part of a barber shop quartet, where their movements will be synchornized to a sound track.
Credit: Disney

Upon his return, he created Newman Laugh-O-Grams.

Iger took to Twitter to wish his boss a very special birthday: Walt Disney would have turned 121 years old today!  How lucky we are for the life he lived and the legacy he left. Happy birthday, Walt!

In 1923, Walt founded the Disney Brothers Studio with his brother Roy O. Disney. The name was changed to the Walt Disney Studios in 1926. He also met his wife, Lillian Bounds, during this time when she was hired as an inker.

Walt Disney Studios Headquarters in Burbank

Walt used to take his daughters, Sharon and Diane to Griffith Park when they were young. It was there that he came up with the idea for Disneyland.

Related: Owner of the Merry-Go-Round Where Walt Dreamed of Disneyland Passes Away

On July 17th, 1955, Walt opened his first theme park, Disneyland, in Anaheim, California.

Shop Disney stopped by to wish Walt a happy birthday too: Today we celebrate Walt Disney, who was born on this day in 1901.

In 1964 President Lyndon Johnson presented Walt with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civil honor.

During this time Walt designed four exhibits, including “it’s a small world” for the 1964-65 World’s Fair, and in 1965, found and bought land in Orlando that would become Walt Disney World.

Related: Looking Back on The 1964 World’s Fair

Photo by Anthony Conti

Sadly, Walt would never get to see Disney World completed. He passed away on December 15th, 1966.

Walt is even getting birthday wishes all the way from Paris: On December 5, 1901, the man who started it all was born. Happy Birthday Walt Disney!

Walt is such an inspiration to so many people the world over. Without him, our entire world would be so very different and honestly, a little less magical.

Happy Birthday Walt! Thank you for all the magic.

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