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Milton Hershey and Walt Disney—What Do They Have in Common?

Milton Hershey and Walt Disney were iconic visionaries. Two men who believed in the power of dreaming and two leaders who had a lot in common.

Hershey and Disney both failed several times before they achieved success, both shared a love of children and of innovation, and both worked tirelessly to improve the lives of others. Shaped by many of the same forces, they turned their vision and dreams into reality through hard work and perseverance.

December 5 marked the 115th birthday of Walt Disney in 1901, and December 15 will mark the 50th anniversary of his death in 1966. With similar life experiences, many of Walt Disney’s most famous quotes have a striking resemblance in thought and prose to quotes from Milton Hershey.

Was Walt Disney inspired by the thoughts of Milton Hershey? After all, Milton Hershey was born 44 years before Disney on Sept. 13, 1857. Take a look at some of Walt Disney’s more famous quotes compared to Milton Hershey’s and decide for yourself.

A Bigger Purposepicture3

  • “What good is money unless you use it for the benefit of the community and of humanity in general?”—Milton Hershey, The Evening Telegram, November 25, 1923
  • “You reach a point where you don’t work for money.”—Walt Disney


A Love for Peoplepicture4

  • “I am trying to build here a place where people can be happy and contented while they work, and live in pleasant surroundings.”—Milton Hershey, Success Magazine, October 1927
  • “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.”—Walt Disney



  • “One must have a reasonable optimism. It is the force that makes the world go.”—Milton Hershey, McClures Magazine, April 1924
  • “I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.”—Walt Disney



  • “I failed. It was a bad beginning. Yes, and I had later troubles. I suppose I never would have done anything if I hadn’t kept coming back.”—Milton Hershey, McClures Magazine, April 1924
  • “All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me. You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”—Walt Disney


Milt Memories History Blog

MHS Department of School History works hard to preserve the Hersheys’ values and students’ cherished memories through articles, photos, interviews and artifacts.  Follow along with our monthly blog series focused entirely on the fascinating school history and inspiring work of our founders.

Read More Milt Memories Posts

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P.O. Box 830
Hershey, PA 17033-0830

(717) 520-2000
(800) 322-3248

GPS: East Governor Road & Meadow Lane


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P.O. Box 830
Hershey, PA 17033-0830

(717) 520-2000
(800) 322-3248

GPS: East Governor Road & Meadow Lane


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430 East Governor Road
Hershey, PA 17033

(800) 322-3248


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Hershey, PA 17033

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