Walter Elias "Walt" Disney (December 5, 1901 – December 15, 1966) would have been 113 today, so, in honor of his birthday, let's glance at a few moments of his life and then gone on about our business.
Some might wonder, why bother? After all, Walt Disney wasn't perfect. Nobody is perfect. People can find things about him that they don't like. And they are perfectly justified. Why remember him at all?
Well, during his lifetime, Walt Disney received four honorary Academy Awards and won 22 Academy Awards from a total of 59 nominations, including a record of four in one year. That gave him more awards and nominations than any other individual in history. He never made a big deal about it, and was working hard on his next movie even during the last week of his life when he knew he was in imminent danger of death and could barely breathe. But that's not why we remember Walt Disney.
He won seven Emmy Awards and gave his name to the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort theme parks in the U.S., as well as the international resorts, Tokyo Disney Resort, Disneyland Paris, and Hong Kong Disneyland. But that's not why we remember Walt Disney.
Disney also created in whole or in part various unforgettable fictional characters, including Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy. But that's not why we remember Walt Disney.
Walt Disney created out of nothing some of the greatest films in Hollywood history, animated or not, at great personal risk. In the process, he employed at good wages thousands of skilled artists who otherwise would have had no outlet for their skills. But that's not why we remember Walt Disney.
We remember Walt Disney because he was good people.