Disney songwriter Robert Sherman dies aged 86

He wrote classic tunes for Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Legendary songwriter Robert Sherman, who co-wrote the songs ‘It's A Small World After All’ and ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’, has died aged 86.

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Details of Sherman’s death were posted on Facebook by his son Jeff. The Statement said: “my Dad, Robert B. Sherman, passed away tonight in London. He went peacefully after months of truly valiantly fending off death. He loved life and his dear heart finally slowed to a stop when he could fight no more.

"Forever his songs and his genius will bring hope, joy and love to this small, small world.  I love you, Dad."

Legend... Robert Sherman (left), with brother Richard with President George W. Bush (Credit: PA)

As one half of The Sherman Brothers (with brother Richard), he penned scores for some of Disney’s biggest hits including ‘Mary Poppins’ and ‘The Jungle Book’, as well as ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’.

The duo were honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1976, and won two Oscars and a Grammy.

Born in New York in 1925 to Russian-Jewish immigrants, Sherman excelled at music in his youth.

After serving with distinction in World War II, attending college and writing a couple of novels, he founded music publishing company  Music World Corporation.

The company produced Top 10 hit ‘Tall Paul’, sung by Annette Funicello, which earned Sherman and brother Richard a staff job at Disney.

Kid's classic... The Jungle Book (Credit: Disney)

This period in the mid-1960s was when the duo wrote their most recognised work. Songs ‘Feed The Birds’, ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’, and the Oscar-winning, ‘Chim Chim Cher-ee’ helped make ‘Mary Poppins’ a children’s classic.

In 1964 they also created the insanely infectious ‘It's a Small World (After All)’ for the New York World's Fair.

After Walt Disney’s death in 1966 the brothers went freelance, writing tunes for ‘The Jungle Book’ , ‘The Aristocats’, ‘The Parent Trap’, ‘Charlotte's Web’, ‘ The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh’ and ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks’.

They also penned tunes for Tony-nominated Broadway musical ‘Over Here!’ - a nostalgic look at wartime America.

Besides his work as a composer, Sherman was also a talented painter.