Walt Becomes a Father
Walt and Lilly had wanted children for some time, but her June 1931 miscarriage was followed by another in summer 1932. When Lilly became pregnant once again in spring 1933, the couple was nervous but delighted. On September 8, Walt wrote his mother, “Lilly is partial to a girl baby. Personally, I don’t care -- just as long as we do not get disappointed again.”
Things continued smoothly. On his own 31st birthday, December 5, 1933, Walt wrote his mother again. “The big event is not very far off. The doctor says Lilly is in perfect condition and everything is okay, and within another week or so, everything will be over -- except the crying.”
The birth fell on the most coincidental of days. On December 18, 1933, Walt was getting an award from Parents magazine. Midway through the ceremony, he was given a note and then left the room without any explanation. Walt had been informed that his new baby was on her way and he got to the hospital just in time. Lilly recalled that just before she fell asleep -- thanks to anesthetics, which were typically used in childbirth at the time -- she heard Walt’s nervous cough.
When Diane Marie Disney was born, Walt and Lilly’s friends, family, and employees exploded with joy. Niece Marjorie, who was away at a boarding school at the time, recalled years later that everyone on her dormitory floor cheered when she shared the good news.