Walt Disney, interested in drawings as a young child, created the first full-length animated film, created the first theme park, and pioneered the first modern multimedia corporation. Born December 5, 1901, Walter Elias "Walt" Disney attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Chicago, Illinois, during his early childhood. When he was 16, he tried to enlist in the military but was rejected and joined the Red Cross. After his time with the Red Cross, Disney returned to Kansas City to begin a career as an advertising cartoonist. In 1923, Disney left to go to Hollywood where he created Mickey Mouse in 1928. Mickey Mouse first premiered at the Colony Theatre in New York on November 18, 1928, in a showing called “Steamboat Willie."
Between 1937 and 1945, Disney created many animated films, such as "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," "Pinnocchio," "Fantasia," and "Dumbo." In 1940, Disney opened his own studio called Disney's Burbank Studio. Five years later he finished the first film combining live action with animation called “The Three Caballeros." It was not until 1955 that Disneyland opened as a Magic Kingdom, that was soon visited by presidents, kings and queens, and royalty from all over the world. This was only the beginning of theme parks, though. Walt Disney World opened to the public in Orlando, Florida, on October 1, 1971.
By the early 1960s, Walt Disney Productions had become the world’s leading producer of family entertainment with such movies as "The Parent Trap" and "Mary Poppins." Walt Disney was pronounced dead on December 15, 1966, after having been diagnosed with lung cancer during the latter part of that year. The legacy of Walt Disney and his first character Mickey Mouse — whose logo represents an institution with annual sales of $22 billion make it the world's largest media company — continues to exist.