John David Campbell was born on August 17, 1896, in Chicago, Illinois, to parents Harrison E. and Annie. His father worked as a solicitor for an electric company. He had an older brother, Edward, who, according to the 1920 U.S. Census, worked as an electrical assembler. Little is known about his life prior to his employment at Disney. By 1918, Campbell was living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, working as a commercial artist at Wisconsin Motorist Publications. In 1922, he married Margaret “Peg” Mackin. It is unknown how long the marriage lasted, but by 1930 Campbell was already living Los Angeles with his parents and brother.

Campbell’s employment date at Disney is conflicted by several sources. The Archives lists his hiring on June 14, 1937, as an inbetweener1 while conflicting evidence suggests he was hired as early as 1933. According to Al Eugster’s journal of September 28, 1936,2 Campbell took part in the Studio’s bowling tournament—suggesting he was hired much earlier.

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