Stan Lee, writer, editor, publisher, and the most well-known creator of comic-book characters and narratives has died. He was 95.
An editor in chief, and later publisher and chairman of what would be become Marvel Comics, Lee created, in partnership with artists such as Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, some of the most popular and iconic superheroes and villains of the comics universe, starting with the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man in the early 1960s, followed by the Hulk, Thor, Daredevil, Doctor Strange, Captain America, Silver Surfer, and Black Panther, among many others.
Born Stanley Martin Lieber in Manhattan, New York City, on December 28, 1922, the son of Romanian-born Jewish immigrants, Lee served in the US Army during World War II, working at the Signal Corps and later at the Training Film Division, writing training films, manuals, and the occasional cartoon.
“It would make such a great story if I could tell you oh people picked on me when I was a kid and that’s why I wanted to invent superheroes,” Lee told us in May of 2016, when he came to the HFPA headquarters in West Hollywood for a roundtable conversation (and a video interview) . “I had a very peaceful childhood. If anybody wanted to start a fight with me, I would talk them out of it. I love to read about superheroes or about regular heroes and I love to read Charles Dickens and Mark Twain and all the good writers, and to me, all of the heroes of every story, they were superheroes and I was interested in them. My favorite was Sherlock Holmes. To me, Sherlock Holmes was the greatest.”
Last year Lee was one of the presenters at our Annual Grants Banquet, accepting on behalf of Animation / CAL ARTS in the company of Black Panther himself, Chadwick Boseman.
Lee was taken to Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on Monday, November 12th, after suffering a medical emergency, and was declared dead shortly afterward.
He is survived by two daughters, dozens of superheroes and villains, and many generations of devoted fans, whose lives were touched and, in many ways, defined by his prodigious imagination.