Walt Disney

by Whit from Fredericksburg

Walt Disney (Boy Scouts publicity photo)
Walt Disney (Boy Scouts publicity photo)

A hero doesn't have to save lives or change societies. They don't have to change the world. All that a hero needs to do is make people's lives better in some way. Walt Disney has certainly done this. His persistence, desire to make people happy, and humility all are essential in what makes him a great person.

Walter Elias Disney was born in Chicago, but was raised on a farm in Marceline, Missouri before moving to Kansas City. When he was on the farm, he had developed an interest in drawing and cartoons. By the time he was 26, he was largely successful with his "Oswald the Lucky Rabbit" series and had moved to Hollywood.

Statue of Walt and Mickey in Disney World ( (JP Diroll))
Statue of Walt and Mickey in Disney World ( (JP Diroll))

Walt Disney's ability to persevere and keep going despite setbacks was shown in 1928 when the rights to Oswald were bought out from him by Universal. He lost all of his staff except for a single animator, Ubbe Iwerks. However, what most would see as a horrible blow, Disney turned into a huge opportunity, creating Mickey Mouse, a character that would be known around the world. His company would later get the character of Oswald back in 2006, nearly 40 years after his death.

Everything that Walt Disney did was to entertain and make people happy. He wanted people to enjoy themselves. He drove people around the site of Disneyland while it was under construction and explained several attractions using only how he visualized them. After it opened, he once told an employee to smile because they were "selling happiness."

Once Disneyland opened, Walt Disney could routinely be seen walking through the park and even maintained an apartment above Main Street  so he would be able to stay longer. His humility could be seen every day, and he never saw himself as better than anyone else. Once, he was eating at one of his restaurants and a waitress came up and addressed him as Mr. Disney. He responded with "I'm Walt. There's only one "mister" in Disneyland and that's Mr. Toad." This shows that he sees everyone as equal to him.

Walt Disney has had a massive influence on people all around the world, even more than 40 years after his death. People are driven by and take inspiration from his attitude towards making people happy, his ability to overcome hurdles, and his lack of acting better than everyone else. These little things he has done to make the world better truly make him a hero.

Page created on 1/9/2016 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 1/9/2016 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.


Green, Amy and Howard. Remembering Walt: Favorite Memories of Walt Disney. Hyperion

Gabler, Neal. Walt Disney:The Triumph of the American Imagination. New York: Knopf