He is best known for his work on the Donald Duck comic strip, but he started his career lettering the Mickey Mouse strips (March 1931 – July 1932) and drew the Bucky Bug comics in 1932 as well as Silly Symphonies pages from 1932 to 1939. Taliaferro co-created a number of characters, including Huey, Dewey, and Louie, Bolivar, Grandma Duck, and arguably Daisy Duck. He drew Donald Duck comic strips from 1938 until his death in 1969 in Glendale, California.
After his family moved to Glendale, Al studied art at the "Institute of Art" in California. On January 5, 1931, he was hired in Disney Studios as an animator but soon transferred to the comic strip department. At its height, the Donald Duck comic strips were published in 322 newspapers.
While many of Taliaferro's strips were reprinted in Disney comic books, in only a few instances did he do original artwork for comic books. Among these were the Cheerios Premium Giveaway Donald Duck: Counter Spy (1947) and the cover of Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #107 (August 1949). Two Children's books with Disney characters he illustrated are Donald and His Cat Troubles(1948) and Donald Duck and the Hidden Gold (1951).
The Taliaferros trace their origins to Northern Italy and were one of the early families who settled in Virginia in the 17th century. The family name, originally Tagliaferro, literally means Ironcutter in Italian.
Animation historian Jim Korkis noted that Taliaferro designed the mascot Litter-Not in 1967 who adorned the public trash receptacles in Glendale into the 1970s and to this day is the official mascot of the Committee for a Clean & Beautiful Glendale.
Taliaferro was posthumously honored with a Disney Legends award in 2003.
- Al Taliaferro at the INDUCKS
- Litter-Not page on city of Glendale website
- Disney Legends profile
- November 8th, 1943 Donald Duck comic strip as reprinted in issue 48 of Walt Disney's Comics and Stories (September 1944)
- Just Ducky: Al Taliaferro and Donald Duck