Paul Smith (Paul J. Smith)

Paul Smith

Paul J. Smith (October 30, 1906 – January 25, 1985) was an American music composer. Paul Smith was born in Calumet, Michigan on October 30, 1906. Upon graduating high school, he studied music at The College of Idaho from 1923 to 1925 before he was accepted into the Bush Conservatory of Music in Chicago, Illinois. His abilities in theory and composition earned him a scholarship to study music theory at Juilliard, however, it is unclear if he ever pursued this invitation. Smith spent much of his life working at Disney as composer for many of its films’ scores, animated and live-action alike, movie and television alike; from 1962 to 1963, he also composed music for Leave It to Beaver. In Fantasia, he is one of the studio employees in the orchestra. He also composed the scores for several of the True-Life Adventures episodes. Smith’s main collaborator and partner was Hazel “Gil” George, who wrote the song title for The Light in the Forest with him and Lawrence Edward Watkin. Smith also did the stock music for the Blondie series of the late 1940s and early 1950s. He won an Academy Award for Best Original Score with Leigh Harline and Ned Washington for Pinocchio, which was his first and only Oscar win. Together with Buddy Baker he scored many Disney films such as The Apple Dumpling Gang in 1975, The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again in 1979, The Shaggy D.A. in 1976, and The Fox and the Hound in 1981. Paul Smith died on January 25, 1985 in Glendale, California, from Alzheimer’s Disease at age 78. In 1994, he was posthumously honored as a Disney Legend.


  • October, 30, 1906
  • USA
  • Calumet, Michigan


  • January, 25, 1985
  • USA
  • Glendale, California

Cause of Death

  • Alzheimer's disease

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