Stan Lee, the mastermind behind Marvel Comics superheroes such as Spider-Man, the X-Men, and Thor, has died. He was 95.
The legendary editor and publisher, whose countless Marvel Comics creations spawned an entertainment empire, was born Stanley Martin Lieber in New York City in 1922.
It was there he first picked up work as a 19-year-old at the precursor to Marvel Comics. After a stint in the Army during World War II, Lee returned to helm the company.
Soon after, Lee, along with co-writers like Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, introduced the world to heroes like The Incredible Hulk, Black Panther, Iron Man, Daredevil, and Doctor Strange.
Lee stepped away from the editorial department in the early 70s, and became Marvel’s publisher and de facto figurehead.
As the comics grew in popularity, with audiences responding to their humour and humanity, Lee pushed the Marvel Comics brand into film and television.
Eventually, that lead to Disney scooping up Marvel Entertainment in 2009. That multimedia juggernaut took the film franchise propped up by 2008’s Iron Man and turned it into a record-setting superhero cinematic universe.
Of course, Lee was fond of a cameo. Fans of the films came to enjoy seeing his genial everyman presence in the films as much as the wanton destruction wrought by the super villains – many of whom were created by Lee in the first place.
Lee had suffered several illnesses in the past year. He was reportedly rushed by ambulance from his Hollywoods Hills home to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he died.
Lee is survived by his daughter, J.C., who told TMZ “my father loved all of his fans.
“He was the greatest, most decent man.”