Walt Disney Is Born
By 1901, people might have thought that Flora and Elias Disney had finished adding to their family. Their oldest son, Herbert, was thirteen; the second eldest, Raymond, was eleven; and the baby of the family, Roy, was eight. But it became clear as the year went on that there was another baby coming. Walter Elias Disney was born on December 5, 1901.
How did he get the name? It was the result of a little deal between Walt’s father and the family minister. As Walt recalled, “The minister’s name was Walter Parr. The minister had a baby coming. And my Dad had a baby coming. . . . When they were breaking bread somewhere they said, ‘Well, if you name your son after me, I’ll name my son after you.”
Walt always thought he got the better end of the bargain, as the minister’s son was to be named Elias. Of course, Walt was given Elias as a middle name; it was something of a family tradition. Not only was it his father’s first name, his great-grandfather had been named Elias.
According to biographer Bob Thomas, “Flora Disney lavished attention on young Walter. He was a sweet-natured baby, handsomer than the other boys, who had their father’s strong Roman nose. The mother liked to dress Walter in frilly clothes.
Roy uncomplainingly pushed his little brother in a baby carriage up and down Tripp Avenue and even bought Walter toys out of his own earnings -- a gesture which might be considered prophetic.”