Beloved comic book legend Stan Lee has passed away at the age of 95 after decades in the business. TMZ was the first to break the sad news, with Stan’s daughter JC saying that an ambulance had rushed him from his Hollywood Hills home to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center early on November 12, where he passed away.
Stan suffered several illnesses over the course of the last year.
“My father loved all of his fans. He was the greatest, most decent man,” JC told TMZ.
The icon is best known for being the former president and chairman of Marvel Comics and being the creator of popular characters such as Spider-Man, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Daredevil, Thor, the X-Men, and scores of others.
Stan was born Stanley Martin Lieber on December 28, 1922. He was born to Romanian Jewish immigrant parents, Celia and Jack.
His upbringing was very humble, with his father working sparingly after the Great Depression when the family shared a one-bedroom apartment.
When Stan was young, he dreamed of one day writing a great American novel. He had various jobs while still in school, one of which was delivering sandwiches to people working in Rockefeller Center.
In 1942, Stan entered the army. He was assigned to the Training Film Division, working on creating training films and slogans. Part of that job entailed cartooning.
He got his first big break writing filler stories for Timely Comics (which would eventually become Marvel Comics), in which he debuted in Captain America Comics #3. In the issue, he created Captain America’s famous shield ricochet toss that the character is still using over six decades later.
After Timely’s editor left over creative differences, Stan became an interim editor at just 19. This led to him becoming editor-in-chief, a position he held until the 1970s.
In the ’50s, superheroes had been revived by DC Comics, so Stan was assigned to create a competitor brand of characters. His wife Joan urged him to create whatever he pleased, since he’d been thinking of quitting and had nothing to lose.
Working with artist Jack Kirby, Stan Lee created a group of heroes that had flaws and were not perfect, to make them relatable to readers. He created the Fantastic Four, and their success was instant. Due to their popularity, Stan was soon on a roll, creating many of the heroes we know and love today.
As most Marvel fans know, Stan appeared in nearly all of Marvel’s recent movies, beginning with 2002’s Spider-Man. Stan’s favorite cameo was in Iron Man, when he was mistaken for Hugh Hefner by Tony Stark. He told him, “That’s OK; I get that all the time.”
Stan’s wife Joan died in July 2017 at the age of 95, after 69 years of marriage. He is survived by his daughter, Joan Celia “JC” Lee.
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