He was a legendary writer, editor, and publisher for Marvel Comics, and made endearing cameos in the Marvel movies. Early Monday morning, the iconic creator, Stan Lee, passed away after being taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 95 years old. The cause of death has not yet been made public.
Born on December 28, 1922, as Stanley Martin Lieber (he would later legally change his name to Stan Lee), Lee began writing in the comics industry in 1939 for Timely Comics, which later became Marvel. In 1961 he teamed up with Jack Kirby to create the first superhero family with The Fantastic Four, and later helped to create other iconic Marvel characters such as Spider-Man, The Hulk, Daredevil, and Doctor Strange. He also helped to create the X-Men and Black Panther. He became a publisher for Marvel in 1972.
(video clips courtesy of CBR)
Lee’s fame only seemed to increase as he got older, especially with his appearance in the Marvel movies. He first appeared as a hot dog vendor in the 2000 film X-Men, and made appearances in all three of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movies. He really hit his stride when the Marvel Cinematic Universe began in 2008 with Iron Man, and appeared in each of the films, culminating with Ant-Man and the Wasp in 2018. Lee has also appeared on the Marvel television show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., as well as dealing with the character of Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory.
Stan Lee is survived by his daughter, Joan Celia “J.C.” Lee. His wife, Joan, whom he was married to for 69 years, passed away in 2017.
Stan Lee has left an indelible mark on both the comics industry and on comic book movies. He was loved by fans, and would sign autographs with his trademark phrase “Excelsior!”, and his cameos in the Marvel movies were often greeted with applause by the audiences. He gave us the iconic characters that we’ve come to know and love, and has easily earned the deserved legendary status among comic book fans. His genius will be missed.