Mary Poppins Songwriter Richard Sherman Dies at Age 95

Richard Sherman, the celebrated songwriter behind some of Disney’s most beloved songs, passed away at the age of 95 on Saturday, as announced by The Walt Disney Company. Sherman died at a hospital in Beverly Hills, California, from an age-related illness, according to Disney’s obituary.

As one half of the legendary songwriting duo “The Sherman Brothers,” alongside his late brother Robert Sherman, Richard Sherman was a central figure in Walt Disney’s creative circle. The Sherman Brothers were responsible for classic Disney songs such as “It’s a Small World (After All)” and several iconic tracks from Mary Poppins, including “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” and “A Spoonful of Sugar.”

Beyond Disney, the Sherman Brothers also penned songs for the popular 1968 children’s film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Their prolific career included writing over 200 songs, earning nine Academy Award nominations, winning two Oscars, three Grammy Awards, and achieving 24 gold and platinum albums.

“Richard Sherman was the embodiment of what it means to be a Disney Legend, creating along with his brother Robert the beloved classics that have become a cherished part of the soundtrack of our lives,” Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement.

Before embarking on his illustrious songwriting career, Sherman majored in music at Bard College and served in the US Army, where he conducted an Army band and glee club in the early 1950s. The Sherman Brothers were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005 and received the National Medal of the Arts at the White House three years later.

Richard Sherman is survived by his wife of 66 years, Elizabeth, his son Gregory, and numerous other relatives. He was preceded in death by his brother Robert in 2012. Plans for a public service have not been announced.