He is the most curmudgeonly character in a star-studded Disney menagerie that includes Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Goofy and Pluto.
Donald Duck - the irascible but unflappable waterfowl - prepared to be feted in grand fashion, as he turned 75 years old Tuesday.
From the beginning, fabled cartoonist Walt Disney envisioned Donald Duck as a foil to Mickey Mouse, his good-as-gold, animated star created a half-dozen years earlier.
While goody-two-shoes Mickey was most appealing to children, Disney sought to create in Donald Duck a more piquant character with adult appeal - and succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.
In his 75 years, his feathered anti-hero has tried his hand at more than 100 different professions, but failed at them all. Donald always seems to be short of cash and make a habit of lurching from one misadventure to the next.
But no matter how often thwarted and how deeply humiliated, Donald Duck forges on - which is what has made him such a big hit with his legions of fans.
Known for his barely decipherable speech and his penchant for running afoul of the other Disney characters, Donald, beneath it all, has a heart of gold, another quality that has charmed adoring fans over the decades.
The prickly but long suffering duck made his celluloid debut on June 9, 1934 in a short animated feature called Little Wise Hen, a movie fable fashioned on the Little Red Hen fairy tale about a chicken who finds that help is scarce when she tries to recruit workers to plant and harvest her corn crop.
While Mickey Mouse often enjoys top billing in the US, in much of Europe - especially among Germans - it is Donald Duck who is the undisputed star.
Meanwhile, legions of loyal fans have launched a contest for the best birthday portrait of the trouserless bird in the sailor jacket.
The winner's depiction is to be displayed later this year at the Anaheim, California Convention Centre next to Disneyland.