Walt Disney Net Worth At Death – Salary, Income, Earnings

Walt Disney Net Worth

Walt Disney had an estimated net worth of $1 Billion at death. He was an American motion picture and television producer and showman, famous as a pioneer of cartoon films, including Mickey Mouse, and as the creator of the amusement parks Disneyland and Disney World. He earned the majority of his income from Disney.

Walt Disney Productions, which he co-founded with his brother Roy, became one of the world’s most well-known motion-picture production companies. Disney was a pioneering animator who popularized the cartoon character Mickey Mouse. During his lifetime, he received 22 Academy Awards and founded the theme parks Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

To calculate the net worth of Walt Disney, subtract all his liabilities from his total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity he has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as loans and personal debt, are included in total liabilities.

Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:

Name: Walt Disney
Net Worth: $1 Billion
Monthly Salary: $10 Million+
Annual Income: $100 Million+
Source of Wealth: Film Producer, Screenwriter, Animator, Film director, Entrepreneur, Voice Actor, Entertainer, Businessperson, Television producer, Film Editor

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Walt Disney’s Parents and Siblings

Elias Disney, an Irish-Canadian, was Disney’s father. Flora Call Disney, his mother, was German-American. Disney was one of five children, four of whom were boys and one of whom was a girl.

Walt Disney’s Childhood

Disney was born on December 5, 1901, in the Chicago neighborhood of Hermosa, Illinois. He spent the majority of his childhood in Marceline, Missouri, where he began drawing, painting, and selling his work to neighbors and family members.

In 1911, his family relocated to Kansas City, where he developed an interest in trains. Mike Martin, his uncle, was a train engineer who worked the route between Fort Madison, Iowa and Marceline, Iowa. Later, Disney would work for the railroad as a summer employee, selling snacks and newspapers to passengers.

Disney attended McKinley High School in Chicago, where he studied drawing and photography and contributed cartoons to the school newspaper. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago at night.

Disney dropped out of school at the age of 16 to join the Army, but was turned down because he was underage. Instead, he joined the Red Cross and was assigned to drive an ambulance in France for a year. In 1919, he returned to the United States.

Walt Disney’s First Cartoons

Disney relocated to Kansas City in 1919 to pursue a career as a newspaper artist. His brother Roy arranged for him to work at the Pesmen-Rubin Art Studio, where he met cartoonist Ubbe Eert Iwwerks, also known as Ub Iwerks. Disney went on to work at the Kansas City Film Ad Company, where he created commercials using cutout animation.

Disney began experimenting with a camera around this time, creating hand-drawn cel animation. He made the decision to start his own animation company. He hired Fred Harman from the advertising firm as his first employee.

Disney and Harman struck a deal with a local Kansas City theater to screen their Laugh-O-Grams cartoons. The cartoons were enormously popular, and Disney was able to establish his own studio, which he named after himself.

Iwerks and Harman’s brother Hugh were among those hired by Laugh-O-Gram. They created Alice in Cartoonland, a series of seven-minute fairy tales that combined live action and animation.

However, by 1923, the studio had become insolvent, and Disney was forced to declare bankruptcy.

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Walt Disney Animation Studios

In 1923, Walt Disney and his brother Roy moved to Hollywood with cartoonist Ub Iwerks to establish the Disney Brothers’ Cartoon Studio. At Roy’s suggestion, the company soon changed its name to Walt Disney Studios.

The Walt Disney Studios’ first distribution agreement was with New York distributor Margaret Winkler for their Alice cartoons. They also created a character named Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and paid $1,500 for each short. In the late 1920s, the studios broke away from their distributors and began producing cartoons starring Mickey Mouse and his pals.

Walt Disney Animation Studios opened a new campus in Burbank in December 1939. When Disney animators went on strike in 1941, the company suffered a setback. Many of them left. It would take years for the company to fully recover.

Flowers and Trees (1932), one of the Disney Studio’s most popular cartoons, was the first to be produced in color and to win an Oscar. The Three Little Pigs and its title song “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?” became a theme for the country during the Great Depression in 1933.

Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse and Other Characters

Steamboat Willie, a sound-and-music-equipped animated short, was Disney’s first successful film starring Mickey Mouse. It premiered on November 18, 1928, at the Colony Theater in New York. Sound had only recently entered film, and Disney was the voice of Mickey, a character he created and had drawn by his chief animator, Ub Iwerks. The cartoon became an instant hit.

Out of necessity, the Disney brothers, their wives, and Ub Iwerks created two previous silent animated shorts starring Mickey Mouse, Plane Crazy and The Gallopin’ Gaucho. The team discovered that Disney’s New York distributor, Margaret Winkler, and her husband, Charles Mintz, had stolen the rights to all of Disney’s animators except Ub Iwerks. The two first Mickey Mouse films were never released because sound was already revolutionizing the film industry.

In 1929, Disney released Silly Symphonies, which featured Mickey’s newly created pals Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and Pluto.

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Walt Disney Movies

Disney created over 100 feature films. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, his first full-length animated film, premiered in Los Angeles on December 21, 1937. Despite the Great Depression, it grossed an unfathomable $1.499 million and won eight Academy Awards. This prompted Walt Disney Studios to produce a new batch of full-length animated films over the next five years.

Disney created “packaged features” in the mid-1940s, which were groups of shorts strung together to run at feature length. By 1950, he was back to concentrating on animated features.

Disney’s last major success that he produced himself was the 1964 film Mary Poppins, which combined live action and animation.

Among Disney’s other most well-known films are:

  • Pinocchio (1940)
  • Fantasia (1940)
  • Dumbo (1941)
  • Bambi (1942)
  • Cinderella (1950)
  • Treasure Island (1950)
  • Alice in Wonderland (1951)
  • Peter Pan (1953)
  • Lady and the Tramp (1955)
  • Sleeping Beauty (1959)
  • 101 Dalmatians (1961)

Disney’s Television Series

Disney was also one of the first people to use television as a form of entertainment. The Zorro and Davy Crockett series, as well as The Mickey Mouse Club, a variety show featuring a cast of teenagers known as the Mouseketeers, were extremely popular with children. Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color was a popular Sunday night show that Disney used to launch his new theme park promotion.

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Walt Disney Parks


On July 17, 1955, Walt Disney’s $17 million Disneyland theme park opened in Anaheim, California, on what was once an orange grove. The activities were presided over by actor (and future US President) Ronald Reagan. Following a tumultuous opening day that included several mishaps (including the distribution of thousands of counterfeit invitations), the site became known as a place for children and their families to explore, enjoy rides, and meet Disney characters.

In a very short period of time, the park had tenfold increased its investment and was entertaining tourists from all over the world.

Over the years, attendance at the original site fluctuated. Disneyland’s rides have grown over time, and the company has expanded globally, with Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida, and parks in Tokyo, Paris, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. California Adventure, a sister property, opened in Los Angeles in 2001.

Walt Disney World

Within a few years of the 1955 opening of Disneyland, Disney began planning for a new theme park and the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (EPCOT) in Florida. When Walt Disney died in 1966, it was still under construction. After Walt Disney died, his brother Roy carried on the plans to complete the Florida theme park, which opened in 1971 as Walt Disney World.

Walt Disney’s Wife, Children and Grandchildren

Lillian Bounds, an ink-and-paint artist, was hired by Disney in 1925. The couple married after a brief courtship.

Lillian Bounds and Walt Disney had two children. Diane Disney Miller, the couple’s only biological daughter, was born in 1933. Sharon Disney Lund was adopted shortly after her birth in 1936.

Ronald Miller, Diane’s husband, had seven children: Christopher, Joanna, Tamara, Walter, Jennifer, Patrick, and Ronald Miller Jr.

Victoria Disney was adopted by Sharon and her first husband, Robert Brown. Bill Lund, Sharon’s second husband, was a real estate developer who scouted the 27,000 acres that became Disney World in Orlando. Brad and Michelle, their twins, were born in 1970.

Sharon’s family was embroiled in a feud after her death in 1993, when her trust was made available to her three children. The trust included a provision that allowed Sharon’s ex-husband Bill Lund and sister Diane to withhold funds if they could demonstrate that Sharon’s children couldn’t manage the money properly. This resulted in accusations of conspiracy and mental incompetence, as well as allegations of incest, and an ugly two-week trial in December 2013.

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When and How Walt Disney Died

Disney died on December 15, 1966, at the age of 65, after being diagnosed with lung cancer in 1966. Disney’s ashes were interred at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.

Favorite Walt Disney Quotes

The important thing is the family. If you can keep the family together — and that’s the backbone of our whole business, catering to families — that’s what we hope to do.


There’s nothing funnier than the human animal.


Laughter is America’s most important export.


There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.


The era we are living in today is a dream of coming true.


Do a good job. You don’t have to worry about the money; it will take care of itself. Just do your best work — then try to trump it.


The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.


A person should set his goals as early as he can and devote all his energy and talent to getting there. With enough effort, he may achieve it. Or he may find something that is even more rewarding. But in the end, no matter what the outcome, he will know he has been alive.

View our larger collection of Walt Disney quotes.

Further Reading

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