Arthur Floyd Gottfredson (May 5, 1905—July 22, 1986) was an American cartoonist best known for his defining work on the Mickey Mouse comic strip. He has probably had the same impact on the Mickey Mouse comics as Carl Barks had on the Donald Duck comics. Two decades after his death, his memory was honored with the Disney Legends citation in 2003 and induction into the Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2006.
Early life and career
Gottfredson was born into a large Mormon family in Kaysville, Utah. The three brothers and four sisters traced their roots to their great-grandfather who had immigrated to the United States from Denmark in the 1840s. As a child, Floyd severely injured his arm in a hunting accident. Housebound during a long recovery, he became interested in cartooning and took several cartooning correspondence courses. By the late 1920s, he was drawing cartoons for trade magazines and the Salt Lake City Telegram newspaper.
After achieving second place in a 1928 cartoon contest, the 23-year-old Gottfredson moved to Southern California with his wife and family, just before Christmas. At the time, there were seven major newspapers in the area, but he was unable to find work with any. One job he'd held in Utah, however, was as a movie projectionist and he found employment in that field in California. A year later, the movie theater where he'd been working was torn down, resulting in another job search and the profession of a lifetime.
Walt Disney Productions hired Gottfredson as an apprentice animator and in-betweener on December 19, 1929. In April 1930 he started working on the four-month-old Mickey Mouse comic strip. It had originally been scripted by Walt Disney and drawn by Ub Iwerks who was succeeded by Win Smith. In May, Disney had Gottfredson assigned to the daily strip, promising it would be only a temporary arrangement until someone else could be found to take over. As it turned out, Gottfredson continued to produce the Mickey Mouse strips for the next 45 years.
Gottfredson's first daily strip was published in newspapers on his 25th birthday, May 5, 1930. On January 17, 1932 he began work on the newly inaugurated Mickey Mouse color Sunday strip which, in addition to the daily, he continued through mid-1938.
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