Right now there is a great outpouring of condolences and tears over the passing of Stan Lee.
From the smallest child who recently got his first Captain America plush doll to the Grandmother who’s electried by Captain Marvel headed to the big screen next year, the 95-year-old once lorded over a universe as expansive as anything Walt Disney ever put out.
And one could state as fact that his contributions were far more inclusive than anything Walt ever put out in his lifetime.
Born in New York City on December 28, 1922, the Lieber family was headed by Jewish immigrants from Romanian. They lived on 98th st and West End before moving further uptown to Washington Heights following the Great Depression.
Lee’s family would end up in the Bronx by the time Stan was a teenager as finances continued to fluctuate throughout his young life.
He attended DeWitt Clinton High School and honed his creative chops by writing obituaries for a news service and press releases for the National Tuberculosis Center.
With some help from his uncle, Lee became an assistant at the Timely Comics division of Martin Goodman’s production company. True believers know that Timely would eventually become Marvel Comics, and Lee was formerly hired on by editor Joe Simon.
The first comic Stan the Man ever wrote was the filler “Captain America Foils the Traitor’s Revenge” in Captain America Comics #3 (May 1941).
Today, comic books are considered a legitimate genre of American literature. Back then, no self respecting writer would be caught dead writing one. To that end, Stan would later recount, he began using Stan Lee as his pen name.
Following a dispute with Martin Goodman, Jack “King” Kirby and Joe Simon would leave, and Goodman would install 19-year-old Lee as interim editor. He would remain editor-in-chief and art director up until 1972 and become publisher after Goodman’s passing.
The synergy, and sometimes animosity, that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby shared is the stuff of legends, but so are the characters they co-created — the first of which was the Fantastic Four. They went on to create the Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, and the X-Men together. With Steve Ditko, Lee would create Doctor Strange and Spider-man and Bill Everett and Lee created Daredevil.
Lee died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after being rushed there earlier in the day.
To surmise the exponential effects of Stan Lee’s life is nearly impossible, but for every comic book fan who became a grandfather, great grandmother or uncle, there are scores upon scores of residual comic book fans who share the same love as the elders. That love was apparent in the meticulous storylines and cosmic fantasies that whisked us away, made us true believers. His decision to use his artform as a champion of social change and a bridge to understanding cultural and ethnic differences makes his legacy one that extends far beyond the notion of a grown man that was just really good at making comics for kids.
Stan Lee not only created some of the world’s most iconic superheroes, he left a legacy of fighting racism and championing inclusion https://t.co/QFSu1dRzB5
Excelsior to you, Stanley Lieber. Because of you, we’re all true believers in the universe you breathed life into. But beyond everything he blessed the world with, Stan Lee was a progressive minded man from the time he left his mother’s home in the Bronx up until his passing.