The story of Disney the studio, theme-park and corporation is, first and foremost, the story of Disney
the man. Loved and adored by millions, vilified by some - Walt Disney evokes strong emotions. In that,
at least, he is not unique. Many of the great achievers in history polarize strong opinion, and Walt
Disney certainly was a great man when viewed in the scope of his achievements
Walter Elias Disney was the fourth son born to Elias Disney and Flora Call Disney. The family -
Walt and his brothers Herbert, Raymond and Roy - lived in Chicago where father Elias was a carpenter.
But the Disneys, deciding that Chicago was too dangerous, fled after some neighborhood boys were
arrested for killing a police officer.
In 1906 the Disney family settled on a farm in Marceline, Missouri. Walt's Aunt Margaret, in a small
gesture of kindness that may have planted the creative seeds of the later Disney empire, would bring
him drawing tablets and Walt in turn drew pictures that his Aunt would rave over. In the meantime,
Elias Disney contracted typhoid and nearly died. His slow recovery, combined with losing both Herbert
and Raymond to the lure of the big city of Chicago, proved disastrous for the farm and the Disney's
were forced to sell. In 1911 they packed up and moved to Kansas City.