Thomas Washington was an African-American animator who worked for Walt Disney Productions from 1957 to 1977. He was the first Black animator to be hired by the company.
Thomas Washington Disney Biography, Age, Education, CEO
Washington was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1937. He studied art at the Chicago Art Institute and the Savannah College of Art and Design. After graduating from Savannah, Washington moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in animation.
Thomas Washington Career
In 1957, Washington was hired by Walt Disney Productions as an assistant animator. He worked on a number of classic Disney films, including Sleeping Beauty (1959), 101 Dalmatians (1961), and The Sword in the Stone (1963).
In 1967, Washington became the first Black animator to be promoted to full animator at Disney. He worked on a number of popular Disney films, including The Jungle Book (1967), The Aristocats (1970), and Robin Hood (1973).
Washington left Disney in 1977 to pursue other opportunities. He worked as an animator for Hanna-Barbera Productions and Warner Bros. Animation. He also taught animation at California State University, Northridge.
Thomas Washington Death
Washington died in 2013 at the age of 75. He is remembered as one of the pioneers of African-American animation.
In 2022, a documentary film called The Goof Who Sat by the Door was released about Washington’s life and career. The film was directed by Chris Robinson and starred Orlando Jones as Washington.
The film is a fictionalized account of Washington’s time at Disney and his efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in the animation industry. The film was praised for its humor and its insights into the challenges faced by African-Americans in the entertainment industry.
Thomas Washington was a groundbreaking animator who paved the way for other African-Americans to work in the animation industry. He is remembered for his talent, his dedication, and his commitment to diversity and inclusion.