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Walt Disney Net Worth & Wife

What was Walt Disney’s net worth at the time of his death? Who was Walt Disney married to?


Walt Disney was an American film producer and cartoon mogul who created Pluto, Goofy, Mickey Mouse, and Donald Duck.

He was called “the most significant figure in graphic arts since Leonardo.


He was born on December 5, 1901, in Chicago.

His mother, Flora Call, worked as a public school teacher, while his dad, Elias Disney, was a building contractor.

He was one of five children, a girl and four boys.

In September 1918, Disney joined the Red Cross as an ambulance driver.

After the war, he took a job as a commercial illustrator.

In 1923, Disney moved to Los Angeles. Later, Walt and his brother formed the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio. The
Studio in 1926.

walt disney net worth

Walt Disney with kittens – @Getty

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit

In 1927, he co-created Oswald the Lucky Rabbit for Universal Pictures. Universal also owned the intellectual property rights of Oswald the Rabbit.

Mickey Mouse

In 1928, Walth and Ub Iwerks created the cartoon character Mickey Mouse. At first, Walt was actually the voice of Mickey Mouse. He got the inspiration for Mickey from a mouse he had adopted as a pet.

“Mickey Mouse, to me, is the symbol of independence,” Disney said. “He was a means to an end.”

For creating Mickey Mouse, he received a special award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1932.

The first Mickey cartoon produced was “Steamboat Willie.”

Three Little Pigs

walt disney net worth at death


In 1933, he produced the short animation film — The Three Little Pigs. It premiered at Radio City Music Hall in NYC. Its sequel, The Big Bad Wolf, was released in 1934. 

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

In 1937, Disney released Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs — the first animated feature film produced in the US. It had a $1.5 million budget.


In 1942, the Walth Disney Company released the animated film Bambi. It received three Academy Award nominations. Bambi was Disney’s 5th full-length animated film.

In July 1955, he opened Disneyland in Anaheim. In 2022, the park in Anaheim had close to 17 million visitors.

how much money does disneyland make a day

An aerial view of Disneyland in Anaheim, California, USA, circa 1955 – @Getty

In 1964, Disney produced Mary Poppins. It grossed over $103 million worldwide.


On July 13, 1925, Walt Disney married Lillian Marie Bounds at her brother’s house in Idaho. She was a secretary working for Walt at the Disney Company. He was two years and 10 months younger than she was.

walt disney and wife

Walt Disney with wife and Micky Mouse during a visite in New York – @Getty

I think my dad fell in love with her almost immediately,” their daughter Diane said in an interview.

In 1990, Lillian received the Governor’s Award for the Arts.

On December 15, 1997, Lillian suffered a stroke — it was exactly 31 years after Walt’s death. She died the following day. She was 98.


On December 18, 1933, their daughter, Diane Marie Disney, was born. She passed away on November 19, 2013, in Napa, California, from medical complications that developed after a fall. She was 79.

Walt disney and daughter

Walt Disney takes an imaginary spin high on an old Eagle racing bike while his daughter, Diane – @Getty

On December 31, 1936, Walt and Lillian adopted their daughter, Sharon Mae Disney. She passed away on February 16, 1993, in Santa Monica, California, due to breast cancer.


On December 15, 1966, Walt passed away at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Burbank, due to “acute circulatory collapse.” He was 65. Walt was a long-time sufferer of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

His last written words were “CIA—Mobley.”

walt disney net worth if still alive

Walt Disney stands by a plan of Disneyland and chats with some imagineers circa 1954 in Los Angeles – @Getty

Walt Disney – Net Worth

So, how much was Walt Disney worth? Disney earned most of his wealth from founding and managing The Walt Disney Company. At the time of writing, Walt Disney has a market cap of $202 billion. Therefore, at the time of his death, Walt Disney (company, real estate, and other business ventures and assets) had an estimated net worth of $125 million — which means about $1.1 billion today. 

Note – in 1966, Warren Buffet acquired 5% of Disney for $4 million, which put The Walt Disney Company at a market cap of around $80 million in 1966.

Walt served as the producer in over 701 TV movies and short films, including — Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, Mary Poppins, Bambi, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. He received a total of 26 Academy Awards. He also won seven Emmy Awards. 

A few of Disney’s films are included in the National Film Registry. He was also inducted to the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

How much does Disneyland make a day

Walt Disney (1901-1966) sits on a grassy lawn with his grandson, in front of the Magic Kingdom’s castle at Disneyland, Anaheim – @Getty

Who inherited his money after he died?

Walt left 45 percent to a charity (most of that went to a private art school — CalArts), 10 percent to family members, and 45 percent to his wife and daughters.

Today, the family owns less than 3 percent of the Walt Disney Company.

When Thelma Pearl Howard died in 1994, she had more than $9 million in her bank account (she had 193k shares of the Walt Disney Company). She worked as a housekeeper for the Disney family from 1951 to 1981.

Disney referred to her as “the real-life Mary Poppins.” After her death, The Thelma Pearl Howard Foundation was created.


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