Leigh Harline (1907-1969) wrote songs for more than 120 films including many films for Walt Disney Studios. A native of Salt Lake City, Utah, Harline was one of 13 children. His parents were Swedish immigrants who had come to the United States after converting to Mormonism.
Harline attended the University of Utah where he studied piano and organ under J. Spencer Cornwall, a former director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He moved to California in 1928 where he worked in radio in San Francisco and Los Angeles. He began working for Walt Disney Studios in 1932 and his first creations there included music for more than 50 animated short films. With Frank Churchill, he wrote the score for Snow White including the song, "Someday my Prince will Come." He received his first Oscar nomination for his work on this film. Harline also wrote the music for the movie Pinocchio (1940). He won two Academy Awards for this film: Best Music and Original Score and Best Song for "When you Wish Upon a Star."
Harline left Disney in 1941, but continued to write music for films, freelancing for several different studios. His film credits include: The Pride of the Yankees (1942), The More the Merrier (1943), Road to Utopia (1946), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), The True Story of Jesse James (1957), T he Enemy Below (1957), Strange Bedfellows (1965), and many more. He also wrote songs for television series such as Wagon Train, Shirley Temple Theater, Daniel Boone, Ben Casey, The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters, and Perry Mason .
Harline also composed music for the Ford Summer Theater radio series and he wrote the Centennial Suite for the Utah Centennial. Harline died on December 10, 1969.
From the guide to the Leigh Harline papers, 1938-1968, (University of Cincinnati, Archives and Rare Books Library)