Comic book Legend Stan Lee has passed away at the age of 95.
From the NY Post Article…..
Lee was born Stanley Martin Lieber to Romanian-born Jewish immigrants in New York City, spending much of his early life growing up in Washington Heights. He graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx at 16, and after working odd jobs, was hired as an office assistant at Timely Comics — where his cousin’s husband worked — eventually moving up to an interim editor position by the early 1940s. He first used the pseudonym Stan Lee, which he would later adopt as his legal name, in the May 1941 issue of “Captain America.”
Lee took a brief reprieve from the comics industry in the early 1940s, when he enlisted in the US Army and served in the Signal Corps, repairing communications equipment, and also worked in the Training Film Division, where he wrote manuals, slogans and cartoons.
He returned to Timely Comics in 1945 and married wife Joan two years later. They welcomed their daughter Joan Celia “J.C.” Lee in 1950; their younger daughter, Jan, died at just three days old in 1953.
In 1950, Timely Comics Publisher Martin Goodman tasked Lee with creating a new superhero team to rival DC Comics’ Justice League. By that time, the public’s view of comics had taken a downturn, and a disheartened Lee considered leaving the business until his wife urged him to write one story he “really liked” before quitting, he recalled to The Hollywood Reporter in 2016.
“I always wrote for myself,” he reflected of his career. “I figured I’m not that different from other people. If there’s a story I like a lot, there’s got to be others with similar tastes.”
Lee’s first team of heroes, who he co-created with artist Jack Kirby, was the Fantastic Four in 1961. Following the success of the foursome, Lee and Kirby went on to create Thor, Iron Man, the X-Men, the Incredible Hulk, Black Panther and, most famously, Spider-Man in 1962. The characters would eventually team up together, as well as with resurrected Timely Comics characters like Captain America, to form The Avengers.
Timely was renamed Marvel Comics, and Lee was named publisher and editorial director of the company in 1972, when he wrote his last two issues of “Fantastic Four” and “The Amazing Spider-Man.” In the 1980s, he transitioned to a brand ambassador for Marvel, leading to his famed film cameos in Marvel franchises.
In 1998, Lee launched Stan Lee Media, which would become POW! Entertainment. Despite his massive success, he conceded to The Hollywood Reporter in 2016 that he wasn’t as business-savvy as he could have been, most notably regarding the 1998 deal, in which he signed over his percentage of a film’s gross profits in exchange for a flat $10 million and $1 million per year for the rest of his life. Considering that “The Avengers” and “Black Panther” each grossed over $500 million alone, Lee’s contract cost him a significant chunk of change within the last decade.
In addition to creating iconic comics and characters, Lee worked to tackle social issues. In 1968, Lee wrote an essay condemning racism and bigotry in his “Stan’s Soapbox” column, writing, “Racism and bigotry are among the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today. But, unlike a team of costumed supervillains, they can’t be halted with a punch in the snoot or a zap from a ray gun. The only way to destroy them, is to expose them — to reveal from the insidious evil they really are.”
Lee re-shared the column in 2017 after a woman was run over and killed at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
On a personal note, I was a huge marvel comic book fan back in the early to late 1980’s. While in the Navy and on Deployment, I would have my comics shipped to me every month. Marvel and DC comics got me through a lot of tough times while out at sea. I looked forward to that box showing up, and seeing what the various characters were up to each month.
“EXCELSIOR FLIES FREE!!!!!”