Disney Legend and Songwriter Behind ‘Mary Poppins’ and ‘The Jungle Book,’ Passes Away at 95

The Disney community mourns the loss of an unparalleled talent: Richard M. Sherman, one-half of the iconic Sherman Brothers, passed away at the age of 95. Renowned for his work on classic Disney films such as “Mary Poppins,” “The Jungle Book,” and the unforgettable tune “It’s a Small World,” Sherman’s melodies have shaped childhoods and captured hearts for generations.

“Richard Sherman was the embodiment of what it means to be a Disney Legend,” said Bob Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company, in a heartfelt statement. “From timeless films to beloved attractions, the music of the Sherman Brothers resonates deeply with audiences. We are forever grateful for the mark Richard left on the world.”

Born on June 12, 1928, Sherman grew up in a musically gifted family. His father, Al Sherman, was a popular songwriter who nudged Richard and his brother Robert into the spotlight. The duo first caught Disney’s attention with “Tall Paul,” performed by Mouseketeer Annette Funicello, leading to a prolific career creating some of Disney’s most cherished songs. Their accolades include two Oscars for “Mary Poppins” and hits like “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” which itself reached the Billboard Top 100 charts in 1965.

Among their notable contributions, the Sherman Brothers penned over 200 songs for Disney, including contributions to “The Parent Trap,” “The Sword in the Stone,” and “Winnie the Pooh.” They even crafted the peace-inspired anthem “It’s a Small World,” a song still celebrated globally.

Reflecting on his stellar career, Sherman once shared, “Our father decided that Bob and I would make a good team. We were lucky to have Walt Disney as a supporter who believed in our work and gave us incredible opportunities.” Their partnership with Disney began with “The Horsemasters” and spanned decades, including non-Disney projects like “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” and “Charlotte’s Web.”

Sherman is survived by his wife of 66 years, Elizabeth, his children, and grandchildren. A private ceremony will be held on May 31 at Hillcrest Memorial Park in Bakersfield, California. An announcement for a celebration of his life will follow.

What are your favorite memories of Richard Sherman’s contributions to Disney? Share your thoughts in the comments below and let’s remember the magic he brought to our lives.