Born Dec 5 1901 - Died Dec 15 1966
Patent Number(s) 2,201,689
Seldom has an individual become so intrinsically linked to a concept as Walt Disney has with the concept of imagination. His was the catalyst for his incredible body of work, which in turn fed the imagination of millions who have been inspired by it. Disney’s invention of the multiplane camera brought better looking, richer animation and in 1937, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the first full-length animated film to use the camera.
The movies that Disney created are amazingly diverse and illustrate the range of his inventiveness.
Today, Mickey Mouse and many other Disney characters are recognized and revered by millions around the world.
Not only did his work delight and entertain audiences, but it also created opportunities for the many talented individuals who worked for and with him to craft these masterpieces. Part of Disney’s genius lay in his ability to conceive new images and projects and then effectively direct others in bringing them to fruition.
Disney's rise to fame is a classic American success story. From humble farmland beginnings, he rose to great heights through hard work, creativity, ingenuity and resilience. Fueled by his extraordinary imagination, he revolutionized animation, transforming the animated cartoon into an entirely new and different art form.
In 1928, he introduced Mickey Mouse in the sound cartoon, Steamboat Willie. Disney’s full-length animated features included the favorites Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo and Bambi. Disney also pioneered the entertainment-complex concept with Disneyland in California and took it to a new level with Walt Disney World in Florida. He earned more than 30 Academy Awards, an honorary degree from Harvard and the Medal of Freedom, presented to him by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964.
© 2002 National Inventors Hall of Fame