The Best Walt Disney Biographies

shelved under Biography & Memoir and Disney

Over 35 years after his death, Walt Disney is still inspiring authors to research and write biographies about this remarkable man. While each book below has its own different take on Walt, any one of them will give you a great read.


Walt Disney: An American Original

by Bob Thomas

This is the first major Walt Disney biography, written (with the cooperation of the Disney family) in the early '70s.


Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination

by Neal Gabler

This recent, thick book (912 pages!) is considered the best and most meticulously-researched biography of Walt Disney.


Walt Disney: Hollywood's Dark Prince

by Marc Eliot

This book (the first "unauthorized" Walt biography) is a little different from the others, in that it emphasizes Walt's "dark" side, with stories about him being an FBI informant (really!), Walt's rumored impotence on his wedding night, his supposed selfishness with credit for work, and so forth. I wouldn't call this book "fair and balanced," but it's definitely a captivating read.


The Animated Man: A Life of Walt Disney

by Michael Barrier

I like this book because the author draws upon his own extensive interviews — shortly after Walt passed away, Barrier interviewed over 150 people who worked with him, and compiled his research into this comprehensive biography.


Disney's World: A Biography

by Leonard Mosley

This book, released in 2002, is apparently riddled with errors and half-truths about Walt Disney. Sounds like an interesting read to me!


Remembering Walt: Favorite Memories of Walt Disney

by Ray Bradbury, edited by Howard E. Green, Amy Boothe Green

This is a lovely concept for a book— nothing but stories and quotes from the people that knew Walt.