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Walt Disney. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-114742).

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Disney, Walt (05 December 1901–15 December 1966), animator and motion picture producer, was born Walter Elias Disney in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Elias Disney, a building contractor, and Flora Call, a teacher. After a childhood near Marceline and in Kansas City, Missouri, Disney studied at the Chicago Institute of Art in the evening while attending McKinley High School during the day. In 1918 he enlisted in the American Ambulance Corps, serving in France and returning to employment as an artist at the Pesmen-Rubin Commercial Art Studio, where he befriended artist ...

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Reis, Irving (07 May 1906–03 July 1953), radio and film director, was born in New York City, the son of Austrian immigrants Philip Reis, a tinsmith and construction worker, and Rose Lipkowitz. Already a ham radio operator at the age of thirteen, Reis showed an early enthusiasm for sound technology and experimentation. Although he received a scholarship to study bacteriology at Cornell, Reis lacked credits for admission, so in order to acquire the necessary courses, he attended Columbia University extension classes. But his interest in broadcasting—and the financial demands of supporting the family—won out, and he quit college after two years to take a job with the radio division of the telephone company in 1928....