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December 06, 2011

Walt Disney: A life in photos

Posted in: It's Alive

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Walt Disney, 1901-1966: A gallery of photos from D23 and the Walt Disney Archive

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Walt Disney during production of "Bambi." (D23: The Official Disney Fan Club)

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Walt Disney poses in front of a Red Cross ambulance that he decorated during World War I. (D23: The Official Disney Fan Club)

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Weeks before his death in 1966, Walt Disney shows his concept for EPCOT in Florida. (D23: The Official Disney Fan Club)

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Walt Disney in a promotional photo. (D23: The Official Disney Fan Club)

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Circa 1920, Walt Disney works at the Kansas City Film Ad Company. (D23: The Official Disney Fan Club)

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Walt Disney in a promotional photo. (D23: The Official Disney Fan Club)

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Walt Disney shows off an intricately detailed, pre-opening aerial map of Disneyland. (D23: The Official Disney Fan Club)

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Walt Disney behind the camera in Hollywood in 1923. (D23: The Official Disney Fan Club)

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Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse's shadow in Hollywood. (D23: The Official Disney Fan Club)

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Walt Disney, right, whose studio was taken over by the Army, collects metal deer lawn ornaments for military scrap in his volunteer job with the war salvage chief, Joseph F. MacCaughtry, on April 14, 1942. ("High Exposure: Hollywood Lives- Found Photos from the Archives of the Los Angeles Times")

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Walt Disney explains how cartoons are made in "Behind the Scenes at the Walt Disney Studio." (Disney Enterprises)

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A behind the scenes glimpse of Walt Disney from the DVD "Walt Disney Treasures - Tomorrow Land: Disney in Space and Beyond." (Disney)

It was 110 years ago this week that Walter Elias Disney was born on the west side of Chicago. He would go on to become a titan in American popular culture, a man whose name became a global brand name of highest order. There have been many, many things written about Disney through the decades: about his heritage and life trajectory; his collaborations both famous and unexpected; his business acumen; his politics and prejudices; and, most often, his legacy and proper place in history. Sometimes, though, we connect best with history by studying the lines of its face and trying to peer into the eyes of the past. With that in mind, we bring the above photo gallery, which shows snapshots of a life marked by big gambles and truly rare vision. Be sure to click the “CAPTIONS ON”option to see the photos, which are also courtesy of D23.

– Geoff Boucher

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