Bill Cottrell was the first president of WED (known today as Walt Disney Imagineering). During the planning and construction phases of Disneyland, Walt relied heavily on Bill’s creativity, wisdom, and foresight to make his dream come true.
Born to English parents in South Bend, Indiana, in 1906, Bill graduated with degrees in English and Journalism from Occidental College in Los Angeles, California. After working on George Herriman’s “Krazy Kat” comic strip for a time in 1929, he was offered a job working cameras at the Disney Studio.
He soon moved into the Story Department and contributed ideas to shorts, including Who Killed Cock Robin? Fellow Legend Joe Grant recalled, “Bill was a great fan of Gilbert and Sullivan and you will see elements of that, such as the jury-box chorus, in Who Killed Cock Robin?” […]