Disney Legend Richard Sherman Passes Away at 95

Iconic songwriter and Disney Legend Richard Sherman has passed away. He was 95.

The two-time Oscar-winning songwriter died at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center on Saturday, May 25th.

Richard and Robert Sherman (who passed away in 2012) — better known as The Sherman Brothers — penned some of the most beloved tunes in the Disney songbook. This includes songs from films such as Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, and the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh among others. Additionally, their work can still be heard in the Disney Parks, including “it’s a small world” and “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” from Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress. Richard was nominated for nine Oscars, won three Grammys, and had 24 gold and platinum selling albums. The Sherman Brothers are also known for having composed Walt Disney’s favorite song: “Feed the Birds.”

Both Sherman Brothers were named Disney Legends in 1990. They were also honored with a window on Main Street USA in 2010.

Richard is survived by his wife Elizabeth; son Gregory and grandsons William and Matthew; daughter Victoria Wolf, son-in-law Doug Wolf, and grandchildren Mandy and Anthony. He is also survived by his daughter from a previous marriage, Lynda Rothstein, as well as her two children and three grandchildren.

The Walt Disney Company has shared a remembrance of Richard.

What they’re saying:

  • Disney CEO Bob Iger: “Richard Sherman was the embodiment of what it means to be a Disney Legend, creating along with his brother Robert the beloved classics that have become a cherished part of the soundtrack of our lives. From films like Mary Poppins and The Jungle Book to attractions like ‘it’s a small world,’ the music of the Sherman Brothers has captured the hearts of generations of audiences. We are forever grateful for the mark Richard left on the world, and we extend our deepest condolences to his family.”
  • Pete Docter, Chief Creative Officer, Pixar Animation Studios: “You don’t get songs like ‘Spoonful of Sugar’ without a genuine love of life, which Richard passed on to everyone lucky enough to be around him. Even in his 90s he had more energy and enthusiasm than anyone, and I always left renewed by Richard’s infectious joy for life.”
  • Leonard Maltin, film critic and film historian: “The Sherman brothers were professional optimists who found a perfect patron in Walt Disney. Their songs had an upbeat outlook that spilled over into Richard’s life, which was not without its troubles and challenges/ He was especially proud that he and his brother carried on a songwriting career like their father, who encouraged them early on.”
Kyle Burbank
Kyle is a writer living in Springfield, MO. His deep love of Disney and other pop culture finds its way into several aspects of his life and work. In addition to his position at LP, he's also the head writer for Fioney.com as well as his own personal finance site Moneyat30.com.