Disney Legend and beloved songwriter Richard M. Sherman passed away on Saturday at the age of 95. Known best as half of the dynamic duo “The Sherman Brothers,” Richard and his brother Robert composed some of Disney’s most iconic and enduring songs, earning them two Oscars among numerous other accolades.

“Richard Sherman truly defined what it means to be a Disney Legend,” said Bob Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company. “His contributions, along with his brother Robert, to films like ‘Mary Poppins’ and ‘The Jungle Book,’ as well as attractions such as ‘It’s a Small World,’ have touched the hearts of countless fans across generations. We are eternally grateful for the legacy Richard left behind, and we extend our deepest sympathies to his family.”

Born on June 12, 1928, in New York City, Richard’s family eventually settled in Beverly Hills, where he began his illustrious career. In the late 1950s, he and his brother Robert made their breakthrough with “Tall Paul,” sung by Mouseketeer Annette Funicello and subsequently caught Walt Disney’s eye. Richard fondly recalled how Disney’s trust and encouragement led them to compose timeless classics for “The Jungle Book,” “The Parent Trap,” and, of course, “Mary Poppins,” which netted them their first Oscars.

Their song “It’s a Small World” was penned as a “prayer for peace,” aimed at promoting global unity and understanding. Richard explained the song’s deeper meaning, urging people to “learn to love and respect each other.”

The Sherman Brothers’ music didn’t just grace films but also found its place in Disney theme parks worldwide. Their early work began with Disney’s made-for-TV movie “The Horsemasters,” soon leading to numerous unforgettable compositions for Disney classics. Their achievements earned them induction into Disney Legends in 1990 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005.

Richard Sherman is survived by his wife of 66 years, Elizabeth, their children, and grandchildren. A private funeral will be held on May 31 at Hillside Memorial Park in Los Angeles with future plans for a celebration of his extraordinary life to be announced.

Share your memories and favorite Sherman Brothers songs in the comments below, and let’s celebrate the remarkable legacy left by Richard M. Sherman. Don’t forget to share this story with fellow Disney enthusiasts!

(Photo Credit: The Walt Disney Company)