August 29, 1905 – Comic Artist and Disney Legend Al Taliaferro is Born
“Al was dying for his own comic strip. He was a pretty ambitious guy, hard working, and a fast worker, too…Al thought [Donald Duck] would be a great character for him to develop for the comics.” – Disney Legend Floyd Gottfredson
On August 29, 1905, Charles Alfred Taliaferro was born in Montrose, Colorado. As a young man, his family to Southern California and, after graduating from Glendale High School in 1924, he took correspondence art courses and studied art at the California Art Institute. In 1931, he scored a job at the Disney Studios as the assistant to comic strip artist and fellow Disney Legend Floyd Gottfredson, who was working on the Mickey Mouse daily strip and the Sunday strips. During Taliaferro’s tenure, Donald Duck made his Disney premiere in the Silly Symphony The Wise Little Hen. Once the Silly Symphony made its way to the Sunday strips, Taliaferro realized the commercial potential for Donald Duck, and lobbied to give the character its own strip. Although there was some resistance to give Donald his own strip, Taliaferro prevailed and on February 7, 1938, the Donald Duck strip premiered. Working with colleague Bob Karp, the strip proved to be a huge success. Taliaferro found more success in the creation of three new characters: Donald’s nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie. They proved to be so popular that a short film was created for them: Donald’s Nephews, which was released on April 15, 1938. Taliaferro passed away on February 3, 1969. He was posthumously honored as a Disney Legend in 2003.