I believe this is probably true but not surprising. Every era has their icons and celebrities and some continue to be adored for decades and others fade into hazy oblivion.
Disney enjoyed great celebrity throughout most of his adult life. He was the most recognized studio executive of his time and the move into TV only fortified and increased his status and made him recognizable to many more millions of people.
Before him there were numerous icons that were beloved by the public and became household names. But, unlike most of them Walt Disney was closely associated with a whole entertainment empire and style.
While the actual man will become pretty much forgotten by future generations, the name will always be with us.
When I was a kid and got to see Walt Disney for the first time on tv. I was asking a bunch of questions like "Who is he?" and my father would reply "That's Walt Disney. He's dead" . I remember being very clueless thinking Walt Disney is just a word to me (Meaning cartoons,Donald Duck,Mickey Mouse) and I was probably clueless of my father telling me he's dead while Walt Disney is talking to us on tv right now.
But every question I asked that night; was always ended with "He's dead".
I remember asking "Walt Disney is a real person?" and then my father would answer "Yes he was a real person. He's dead".
When I think about this very short memory I kind of wonder if they said something that was considered stupid to my father. Because my question is now; why did he kept repeating like that? and I was too young to catch what they were saying.
But that is how I got to learned that Walt Disney existed and has always been that he was no longer with us.