July 23, 1911 – Background Artist and Disney Legend Al Dempster
On July 23, 1911, Albert Taylor Dempster was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey. In 1939, after studying at the Art Center School in Los Angeles, he joined the Disney Studios as a layout trainee. After joining the background department, Dempster made significant contributions to the backgrounds of several animated feature films, including Fantasia, Make Mine Music, and Victory Through Air Power. He left the studios in 1945, but returned in 1952 to work on more animated features. What Dempster is most known for, however, is his work on the Disney Golden Books. Having loved to illustrate books, Dempster contributed his talents to reinterpreting the familiar Disney stories through new innovative and whimsical art. His most beloved piece was the book for Alice in Wonderland, which is widely regarded as a masterpiece in the Little Golden Books collection. In 1973, Dempster retired from the Disney Studios, and passed away in the Los Osos home at the age of 89 in 2001. In 2006, he was honored as a Disney Legend for his artistic credits.