Bob Iger Shares Message on Walt Disney’s 121st Birthday

On December 5, 1901, in Chicago, Illinois, Elias and Flora Disney welcomed the birth of their fourth son, Walt. The Disney family only stayed in Chicago for a few more years, moving to Marceline, Missouri, where Elias had purchased a farm shortly after Walt’s sister Ruth was born. If you are reading this article, you are probably familiar with Marceline, Missouri as the town that inspired Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland, and later the Magic Kingdom and other Disney Parks around the world.

As for Walt, you probably also already know that the young boy in Marceline would go on to become a cartoonist, working with Ub Iwerks on the creation of a certain mouse and moving to California, where his studio would take off with both live-action and full-length animated films, and where the first Disney Park as we know it today would open.

Walt Disney

Credit: Disney

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Walt Disney sadly passed away in 1966 at the age of 65 due to lung cancer, five years prior to the opening of Walt Disney World. We, along with Disney fans the world over, can’t help but wonder what Walt would think if he could see the state of the company today, between its vast collection of not only attractions at Disneyland, but global theme parks, a fleet of cruise ships, and a successful film lineup that includes Disney alongside Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars.

Walt Disney, EPCOT

Credit: Disney

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We are also incredibly grateful to the work and creativity of Walt for putting the steps in motion and following his dreams to imagine characters and experiences that are important parts of our lives today.

Disney CEO Bob Iger feels similarly, taking to Twitter this morning to share birthday wishes for Walt:

Walt Disney would have turned 121 years old today! How lucky we are for the life he lived and the legacy he left. Happy birthday, Walt!

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Bob Iger only returned to the CEO position recently following the ousting of former CEO Bob Chapek last month. Already fans have largely been thrilled to have someone who “gets” Disney back in this top executive position, and given messages like this one, we have to agree that Iger is likely on the same page as many fans.

We will continue to monitor updates from the Walt Disney Company as Iger settles back into the CEO position. In the meantime, please join us in wishing a warm happy birthday to Walt Disney, himself!

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."