The Full Family Tree of Walt Elias Disney
Co-founding The Walt Disney Company in 1923, Walt Disney revolutionized entertainment by introducing the world to enduring animated characters, most notably Mickey Mouse, in the groundbreaking “Steamboat Willie” in 1928. Disney’s innovation extended to sound and color, as demonstrated in the first-ever synchronized sound cartoon, “Steamboat Willie,” and the introduction of Technicolor to animation.
Beyond animation, Disney’s visionary spirit led to the opening of Disneyland in 1955, the world’s first-ever theme park, forever altering immersive entertainment. His ideas and principles continue to shape the entertainment industry, and his legacy persists through the global success of The Walt Disney Company.
In this article, we pay homage to the great man and his famous family – we’ll dive deep into the family tree of Walt Disney and share some interesting facts about each family member. And, as a bonus, we’ll tell you how you can recreate the Walt Disney family tree with our Treemily family tree maker.
Walt Disney’s Family Tree (All Notable Descendants and Relatives)
Walt Disney’s relatives include:
- Disney’s parents: Elias Charles Disney and Flora Call;
- Disney’s wife: Lilian Marie Bounds who initially worked at Disney Studios in the ink and paint department;
- Disney’s 2 daughters: Diane Marie Disney, CEO of Walt Disney Productions until 1984, and the adopted Sharon Mae Disney, who would become an actress;
- Disney’s 3 brothers: Herbert Arthur Disney, who served in the US military during WWI; Raymond Arnold Disney who was also a war veteran and managed Original Disney Bros Studio and Walt Disney Productions; and Roy Oliver Disney, the co-founder of Walt Disney Productions;
- Disney’s sister: Ruth Flora Disney worked as a stenographer and maintained a low profile.
We’ll look into each family member’s story in the sections below.
Creating Walt Disney’s Family Tree
Did you know you could easily recreate and visualize the Disney family tree? With Treemily, anything is possible!
All you need is to create a free account, choose your preferred family tree layout, and put in some basic information that you will find in the later sections. And don’t be put off by the amount of effort it may take to have all the family listed – it is really quick and simple! Once you’re done, you can export the Walt Disney family now to a stunningly looking PDF or even have it printed on paper of the size of your choosing!
Are you excited to embark on your first genealogical research? Feel free to find out more useful guidance in our “how to make a family tree” manual!
Who’s Walt Disney?
Walt Disney, born on December 5, 1901, in Chicago, left an indelible mark on the American entertainment industry as an animator, film producer, and entrepreneur. Pioneering the American animation landscape, Disney introduced groundbreaking developments in cartoon production. His illustrious career includes a record-setting number of Academy Awards and nominations, making him a trailblazer in the film industry.
Walt’s educational journey commenced at Benton Grammar School and culminated with graduation from the Art Institute of Chicago, where he honed his artistic skills and worked as a newspaper cartoonist. The move to California in the early 1920s marked the establishment of Disney Brothers Studio (now The Walt Disney Company) with his brother Roy. The iconic character Mickey Mouse, created in collaboration with Ub Iwerks in 1928, became an instant success, with Disney providing the character’s voice in its early years.
As the studio flourished, Disney released such masterpieces as “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937), “Pinocchio,” “Fantasia” (both 1940), “Dumbo” (1941), and “Bambi” (1942) that showcased the evolution of animated film. Post-World War II, Disney’s creative prowess continued with hits like “Cinderella” (1950), “Sleeping Beauty” (1959), and “Mary Poppins” (1964), the latter earning five Academy Awards. Sadly, Walt would live two more years after Mary Poppins’ release – in 1966, he died of cardiorespiratory arrest at the relatively young age of 65
Disney’s legacy endures through his cultural impact, epitomized by the studio’s global expansion and evolution into a media and entertainment giant. While perceptions of Disney vary, ranging from a purveyor of wholesome values to a symbol of American imperialism, his influence remains unparalleled.
Who are Walt Disney’s Family Members?
Walt Disney’s Father: Elias Charles Disney
Elias Disney (1859-1941), born in Ontario, Canada, to Irish immigrants Mary Richardson and Kepple Elias Disney, held steadfast Christian values. In 1888, after marrying Flora Call, he relocated to Chicago and embarked on a career as a building contractor. The couple had four sons and one daughter. Elias passed away in 1941, precisely three years after Flora, succumbing to failing health.
Elias Disney’s strict Christian values influenced his family’s upbringing and later played a role in Walt Disney’s creative endeavors. The family’s move to Chicago marked a significant chapter in their lives, shaping the environment in which Walt would later develop his passion for drawing and storytelling.
Walt Disney’s Mother: Flora Call
Flora Call (1868-1938), wife of Elias Disney and mother to Walt Disney, was born to Henrietta and Charles Call in Ohio, USA. A skilled seamstress, Flora dedicated herself to creating clothing for her five children. Tragically, her life was cut short when she fell victim to gas asphyxiation caused by a faulty furnace, leaving a profound impact on the entire Disney family.
Flora’s influence on Walt Disney’s early life extended beyond her role as a mother. Her commitment to craftsmanship and creativity in sewing may have indirectly contributed to Walt’s appreciation for attention to detail and artistic expression, later reflected in his animated creations.
Walt Disney’s Wife: Lilian Marie Bounds
Lilian Marie Bounds (1899-1997), a native of Idaho, USA, was not only a graduate of a business college but also a film artist. Her professional journey with Walt Disney began in 1924 when she assumed the role of his secretary. A year later, in 1925, Lilian and Walt got married. Lilian played an integral role in Walt’s personal and professional life, providing support during the formative years of the Disney Brothers Studio.
Lilian’s role as Walt’s secretary might have involved significant contributions to the administrative aspects of the studio, showcasing her organizational skills and dedication. Beyond her professional duties, Lilian and Walt’s marriage endured for over four decades until Walt’s passing in 1966. Remarkably, even after Walt’s death, Lilian continued to contribute to the Disney legacy and later remarried.
Lilian would far outlive her husband, having passed away 31 years after Walt died in 1997 – she suffered from a stroke at her California residence.
Walt Disney’s Daughter: Diane Marie Disney
The eldest of Walt Disney’s descendants, Diane Marie Disney, was born in 1933 and was a distinguished American philanthropist. Holding the reins as the CEO of Walt Disney Productions until 1984, she left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. Throughout her enduring legacy, she generously contributed approximately $5 million to charitable causes, embodying the spirit of benevolence instilled by her father.
Having married Ron Miller in 1954, Diane also enjoyed being a wife and mother -Their union bore seven children, including Christopher, Tamara, Jennifer, Walter, Joanna, and Ronald Miller. In 2013, the world bid farewell to this philanthropic matriarch at the age of 79, following a tragic incident involving a fall that resulted in fatal injuries.
Walt Disney’s Adopted Daughter: Sharon Mae Disney
Another one of Walt Disney’s children, Sharon Mae Disney was born in 1936. As the adopted youngest daughter, she ventured into the world of acting, making her own contributions to the entertainment industry. Her family journey began in 1959 when she married Robert Brown, and together, they soon welcomed their daughter, Victoria Brown. However, their happiness together was rather short-lived due to Robert’s untimely passing shortly after Victoria’s birth.
In 1969, Sharon embraced a new phase of her life by marrying William Lund. This union brought forth twins, Brad and Michelle; however, the couple would get divorced ten years later. Sharon spent her final years at St. John’s Hospital in California, eventually succumbing to breast cancer in 1993.
Walt Disney’s Brother: Herbert Arthur Disney
Herbert Arthur (1888-1961) was the eldest child in the Disney family. His life took an unexpected turn during World War I when he served in the US military. Upon returning to Oregon, Herbert found love and companionship with Louise R. Rast, and together, they welcomed a daughter named Dorothy Disney.
Unfortunately, tragedy struck with Louise’s passing, prompting Herbert to relocate to Los Angeles. There he worked in the Post Office and eventually married Margaret Chapman with whom he spent his later life.
Walt Disney’s Brother: Raymond Arnold Disney
Another veteran of the war, Raymond Arnold Disney (1890-1989) stood as the oldest sibling to outlive the rest of his immediate family. Following his post-war return to the United States, Raymond married Meredith Boyington, with whom he had two sons – Charles Elias and the adopted Daniel Harwood Disney.
Beyond family life, Raymond made significant contributions to the entertainment industry. He established a production company in North Vermont, California, overseeing the Original Disney Bros Studio and later playing a pivotal role in the development of Walt Disney Productions.
Walt Disney’s Brother: Roy Oliver Disney
The youngest brother in the Disney family, Roy O. Disney (1893-1971), left an indelible mark as a successful businessman and co-founder of the Walt Disney Company alongside his brother Walt.
In 1925, he tied the knot with Edna Francies, a connection formed while she worked at the Kansas City Times, and the couple soon welcomed a son, Roy Edward Disney. A year after his retirement in 1971, Roy O. Disney passed away due to a stroke.
Walt Disney’s Sister: Ruth Flora Disney
The youngest and sole daughter in the Disney family, Ruth Flora (1903-1995), took on roles as both a stenographer and a philanthropist. Her family ties included a union with Theodore Beecher, later followed by the birth of their son, Warren Beecher. Not much is known about Ruth aside from that as she kept a low profile throughout her life.
Questions on Disney’s Family Answered
When was Walt Disney born and when did he die?
Walt Disney was born on December 5, 1901, in Hermosa, Chicago, and passed away at the age of 65 on December 15, 1966, in Burbank, California.
Did Walt Disney have kids?
Yes, Walt Disney had two daughters, Diane Marie Disney and the adopted Sharon Mae Disney.
Are Walt Disney’s grandchildren still alive?
It’s known that Diane Marie Disney had seven children, and Sharon Mae Disney had three – and it is presumed that at least some of them are still alive.
Does Walt Disney have any living relatives?
Walt Disney’s immediate family members, such as his grandchildren, continue to be his living relatives. Additionally, there may be extended family members, but specific details are unknown as the living descendants stay out of the spotlight.
How many siblings does Walt Disney have?
Walt Disney had four siblings: Herbert Arthur Disney, Raymond Arnold Disney, Roy Oliver Disney, and Ruth Flora Disney.
What’s the origin of the Disney’s last name?
The surname “Disney” is believed to be of Norman French origin, presumably having evolved from the Old French word “d’Isigny,” which refers to someone from the town of Isigny in Normandy, France.
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