Today on November 10 1941, Walt Disney began serving as an FBI Informant.
The founder of the world-renowned Disney franchise and iconic Mickey Mouse secretly served as an FBI informant from 1941 until his death in 1966. Walt Disney was recruited to work for the FBI’s Los Angeles office. As an outside contact for the Bureau, Disney was to report on the activities of Hollywood actors, writers, producers, directors, technicians and union activists suspected of political subversion. During this time, communism was on the rise and US officials were becoming concerned about these ideals spreading across American society.
The earliest communication between Disney and J. Edgar Hoover (Director of the FBI) appears to have happened back in July 1936. Information about Disney’s role as an informant was only publicly released in 1993 because of the Freedom of Information Act. Over 570 pages was released about Disney’s involvement with the FBI, however many of the specific details were blacked out. Therefore, it’s impossible to know exactly which celebrity names Disney leaked to federal agents.
In return for Disney's cooperation, Hoover allowed Disney to film at the Bureau's headquarters in Washington. Because of the information he shared, Disney was eventually promoted to the role of a full Special Agent. Later into the 1950s, the FBI also assisted Disney in acquiring permits and building Disneyland in LA. In 1961, Hoover actually helped write a Disney script for the film, Moon Pilot, which saw children looking up to FBI agents and portraying them as American idols.