July 8, 1909 – Publisher and Disney Legend Mario Gentilini is Born
“Mario [Gentilini] was a great pioneer in the comic field.” – Roy E. Disney
On July 8, 1909, Mario Gentilini was born inLuzzara, Italy. After studying art at the Accademia di Brera, he garnered a reputation as a figurative painter, and also taught high school until 1936. He was offered a temporary position at Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, a well-known publishing firm. It was there that Gentilini learned of Topolino magazine, which published the translated version of the popular Mickey Mouse comics. Gentilini’s position became full-time at the firm, and he started working as a retouch artist for the magazine before becoming its editor nine years later. Gentilini was instrumental in giving Italian artists to tell their own stories featuring the Disney characters; he also created the monthly magazine I Classici di Walt Disney in 1958, which featured the best stories from Topolino. His new magazine was published in seven languages, selling an average of two million copies per issue. He also created Manuale dell Giovani Marmotte, a Disney-themed manual for the Italian boy scouts. Gertilini retired from the publishing firm in 1980, and passed away in 1988. In 1997, he was inducted as a Disney Legend for his work in international Disney publishing.