Walt Disney was born on December 5th, 1901 in Chicago, Illinois. Walt had very early interests in art, he would often sell drawings to neighbours to make extra money. Though Walt's father could be quite stern, he was encouraged by his mother and older brother to pursue his talents. Walt joined the Red Cross where he was sent overseas to France and spent a year driving an ambulance for Red Cross officials. Once Walt returned from France, he pursued a career in commercial art. He started a small company called Laugh-O-Grams, which eventually fell bankrupt. With his suitcase and 20 dollars, Walt headed to Hollywood to start anew. After making a success of his "Alice comedies", Walt became a recognized Hollywood figure. In 1932, the production entitled, Flowers and Trees, won Walt the first of his studio academy awards and since then he has gone on to win 26 Academy Awards out of 59 nominations, and seven Emmy Awards.
Two particularly important animations were 'Steamboat Willie', the first cartoon with synchronised sound and 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.'