Walt Disney Net Worth

Walt Disney Net Worth:
$1 Billion

Walt Disney Net Worth: Walt Disney was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, entertainer, international icon, and philanthropist. He is best known for being the man behind Walt Disney Productions, one of the most famous motion picture producers in the world.

Walt Disney had a net worth equal to roughly $1 billion at the time of his death in 1966 (after adjusting for inflation).

At the time of his death, Disney's various assets were worth $100 – $150 million in 1966 dollars, which is the same as $750 million – $1.1 billion today. His stake in the Disney production company alone was worth $600 million (after adjusting for inflation). He also owned the largest individual stake in Walt Disney Inc., which was created in 1953 to control Disney's intellectual property, design, and other assets. Upon his death, he left 45% of his estate to his wife and children in the form of a family trust, and 10% to his sister, nieces, and nephews. The remaining 45% established a charity. The majority of that charity's funds were given to CalArts, a private art school.

Early Life and Early Career: Walter Elias Disney was born in Chicago's Hermosa neighborhood on December 5, 1901, the fourth son of Elias and Flora Disney. He had four siblings, brother Herbert, Raymond and Roy, and a sister, Ruth. The family moved to Marceline, Missouri when Disney was four years old, and it was there that he developed an interest in drawing. One of his earliest drawing projects was when he was paid to draw the horse of a retired neighborhood doctor.

The Disneys moved in 1911 to Kansas City, Missouri. While attending the Benton Grammar School, Disney met fellow pupil Walter Pfeiffer, who introduced him to the world of vaudeville and motion pictures. During this time, Disney also attended Saturday classes at the Kansas City Art Institute. The Disney family moved yet again in 1917, this time back to Chicago. Disney attended McKinley High School where he landed the role of cartoonist for the school newspaper and took night courses at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts.

During his early career, Disney and fellow artist and friend Ub Iwerks took jobs at the Kansas City Film Ad Company. It was there that Disney first became interested in animation.

Animation Career: Disney moved to Hollywood in July 1923. His previous business venture, Laugh-O-Gram Studio, had gone bankrupt, but he had produced a short film combining live-action and animation based on the story "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland." He was successfully able to sign a contract with New York film distributor Margaret J. Winkler in October 1923 for six "Alice" comedies. In order to produce the films, Disney formed the Disney Brothers Studio (later renamed The Walt Disney Company) to produce the "Alice" films.

The iconic character Mickey Mouse was developed by Disney and first appeared in May 1928. Disney pioneered the method of creating post-produced sound cartoons, and signed a contract with Cinephone as the distributor of this popular sound cartoons, later signing a distribution contract with Columbia Pictures for the Mickey Mouse cartoons.

Disney, dissatisfied with the format of the short cartoons he was producing, began production on his studio's first full-length feature animation, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The production of the film took four years, and cost $1.5 million to produce, but premiered in December 1937 to high praise from critics and audiences alike. By May 1939, it had grossed $6.5 million. What followed is what is commonly referred to as "The Golden Age of Animation," with the studio going on to release animated films like Dumbo (1941), Bambi (1943), Pinocchio (1940) and Fantasia (1940). These films did not perform as well as expected, and by 1944 Disney's company owed the Bank of America debts of $4 million. Disney returned to animated features with 1950's Cinderella, which was a commercial and critical success, and other films like Alice in Wonderland (1951) and Peter Pan (1953).

(Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images)

From the mid-1950s onwards, Disney began focusing more of his time and efforts on other ventures outside of animation. Inspired by the layout of Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark, Disney began focusing on the development of a theme park in California. He formed WED Enterprises (now Walt Disney Imagineering) and used his personal money to fund a team of engineers and animators to work on the plans for the park, set to be built on a plot of land in Anaheim, California, that had been purchased. Disneyland was officially opened in July 1955 to great success. After only a month in operation, the park was receiving over 20,000 visitors a day and had welcomed 3.6 million guests by the end of its first year.

He was inducted to the Hollywood Walk of Fame in February 1960 with two stars: one for his work on motion pictures, and the other for his television work. He was also posthumously inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1986, and the California Hall of Fame in December 2006. Until his death, Disney continued to work on various animation, film, resort and park projects. In total, he had been involved in 81 feature films.

Personal Life: Disney married ink artist Lillian Bound in July 1925, and they had two daughters. They were married until his death in 1966. Disney passed away on December 15, 1966, a mere ten days after his 65th birthday, from lung cancer.

Walt Disney Net Worth

Walt Disney

Net Worth:$1 Billion
Date of Birth:Dec 5, 1901 - Dec 15, 1966 (65 years old)
Height:5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Profession:Film Producer, Screenwriter, Animator, Film director, Entrepreneur, Voice Actor, Entertainer, Businessperson, Television producer, Film Editor
Nationality:United States of America

Walt Disney Earnings

  • 101 Dalmatians
  • Swiss Family Robinson
All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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