Disney Composer Richard M. Sherman, Behind 'Mary Poppins,' Dies at 95

Legendary Disney Composer Passes Away at Ninety-Five.

by Nouman Rasool
Disney Composer Richard M. Sherman, Behind 'Mary Poppins,' Dies at 95
© David Livingston/Getty Images

The legendary Richard M. Sherman, the American songwriter for most of the Disney musical hits, has died at the age of 95. The man is almost responsible for the lion's share of scores that adorned most childhoods with such classics as "Mary Poppins," "The Jungle Book," and "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang." His songs, including the world-famous tune, "It's a Small World After All," travelled far beyond their locale.

Disney's collaboration with the Sherman brothers was launched in the 1960s and then culminated with an amazing songbook collection containing over 150 songs. Their songs formed not only the background of animated films but also the most important part of the Disney theme park experience, reverberated in all kinds of attractions, amazing the public of any age.

Sherman's Storied Success

Richard Sherman is a two-time Academy Award winner for "Mary Poppins", a Grammy winner with 23 gold and platinum records. His career has been blessed with a rare honor by the star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and National Medal of Arts in 2008, by then President George W.

Bush. They were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame; their career truly contributed hugely to both works—music and the film industry. It was because of their penchant for songwriting, which would be heavily influenced by the philosophy at Walt Disney that they had to write lyrics enough to catch the attention of every generation and yet not be patronizing to the younger audience.

It was the reason for their deep resonance on different levels and the turn into timeless pieces that both grown-ups and children could relate to. The Richard and Robert Sherman duo was not just a team of songwriters but also innovators, pushing the envelope in music and storytelling.

They are best known for their dynamic working relationship, often bouncing such ideas back and forth for the finessing or refinement of a song, and which mostly resulted in some lyrical and melodic genius. Outside of work, Richard Sherman was a devoted family man.

He is survived by wife Elizabeth; children Gregory, Victoria, and Lynda. Details for the funeral service are being kept within the family, but Disney stated there would be a public celebration of his life to be held at a future date.