Stan Lee, Co-Creator Of Marvel Universe Characters & ‘Real-Life Superhero’, Dead At 95
No official cause of death was reported immediately, although Lee had suffered multiple health scares in recent years. In January, he was hospitalized after experiencing shortness of breath and an irregular heartbeat.
Among the superhero characters Lee was famous for creating are Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, Black Panther, the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. Lee also made quirky cameos in several Marvel Cinematic Universe films over the years.
Lee was born Stanley Martin Lieber on Dec. 28, 19222 in New York City to Romanian-born Jewish migrants. His editorial career began in 1939 as an assistant at Timely Publications. Two years later, at just the age of 19, Lee was named the publications’ editor-in-chief after then-editor Joe Simon and artist Jack Kirby left the organization.
Timely would eventually become Atlas Comics and then ultimately Marvel Comics, for whom Lee continued writing and editing until 1972, when he became a publisher.
Lee was also taken advantage of financially in recent years as his health deteriorated. In March, The Daily Beast reported that he was being financially “picked apart.” His daughter Joan Celia‘s former business partner and his long-time bodyguard were among those who allegedly defrauded him, according to the report. Joan Celia is Lee’s only heir.
Shortly after Lee’s wife Joan died in July 2017, he filed a $1 billion lawsuit against executives at POW! Entertainment — a firm he founded in 2001 to create media properties — accusing them of fraud. Lee dropped the suit just weeks later.
Lee helped propel Marvel to worldwide recognition. It eventually became the world’s No. 1 publisher of comic books, while Marvel Studios also grew into a behemoth.
In 2009, The Walt Disney Co. acquired Marvel Entertainment in a $4 billion deal. Several Marvel movies have gone on to become some of the top-grossing films of all time, including 2012’s The Avengers and this year’s Avengers: Infinity War, which had record opening-weekend box office sales and amassed $2.05 billion worldwide.
According to The New York Times, Lee started reading Shakespeare when he was only 10 years old. He also reportedly enjoyed pulp magazines and novels from renown authors like Mark Twain and Arthur Conan Doyle.
“For years, kids have been asking me what’s the greatest superpower,” Lee told The Hollywood Reporter in 2016. “I always say luck. If you’re lucky, everything works. I’ve been lucky.”
Dozens of people paid tribute to Lee on social media Monday, including Captain America star Chris Evans and Disney CEO Bob Iger, who said in a statement: “Stan Lee was as extraordinary as the characters he created. A super hero in his own right to Marvel fans around the world, Stan had the power to inspire, to entertain, and to connect. The scale of his imagination was only exceeded by the size of his heart.”
Two Marvel films are set to be released in 2019: Captain Marvel and Avengers: Infinity War Part II.
Rest in peace, Stan Lee. The many worlds of imagination & delight you created for humanity will last forever.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 12, 2018
.@GeorgeTakei paid tribute to Stan Lee: “His stories will live on and continue to ignite the imaginations of generations to come. Rest with the stars, great sir” https://t.co/kS9MQu8LKL pic.twitter.com/Ocf7J8SqpL
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) November 12, 2018
“I feel that if you’re able to entertain, you’re doing a good thing.”
Stan Lee, 1922-2018 pic.twitter.com/nciWifH5ec
— Fandango (@Fandango) November 12, 2018
Rip Stan Lee. Thank you for your creativity. pic.twitter.com/jelBkmYc64
— max (@lunn2d) November 12, 2018
— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) November 12, 2018
Today, we lost a real-life superhero. Stan Lee, thank you for everything. pic.twitter.com/zH6YIlslnx
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) November 12, 2018
To Stan Lee: Thank you for making my childhood so much more exciting with your astonishing superhero characters. Thank you for inspiring me to think and dream big. Thank you for the Hulk, Thor, Fantastic Four and many others. You will be sadly missed. RIP.
— Gene Simmons (@genesimmons) November 12, 2018
Thank you Stan Lee. For your service in protecting our freedom and for your creativity and imagination! You were and will always be a SUPER HERO! pic.twitter.com/d1qpuImyzQ
— Jamie Lee Curtis (@jamieleecurtis) November 12, 2018
Thank you Stan Lee for making people who feel different realize they are special.
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) November 12, 2018
There will never be another Stan Lee. For decades he provided both young and old with adventure, escape, comfort, confidence, inspiration, strength, friendship and joy. He exuded love and kindness and will leave an indelible mark on so, so, so many lives. Excelsior!!
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) November 12, 2018
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