Stan Lee (born Stanley Martin Lieber, December 28, 1922 – November 12, 2018 ), the legendary writer, editor and publisher of Marvel Comics whose fantabulous but flawed creations made him a real-life superhero to comic book lovers everywhere, has died. He was 95. He was the editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, and later its publisher and chairman, leading its expansion from a small division of a publishing house to a large multimedia corporation.
The feisty writer, editor and publisher was responsible for such iconic characters as Spider-Man, the X-Men, Thor, Iron Man, Black Panther and the Fantastic Four – whew! A heady list of iconic characters that have lasted a long time and will last for a very, very long time. Lee, who began in the business in 1939 and created or co-created Black Panther, Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Mighty Thor, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk, Daredevil and Ant-Man, among countless other characters, died early Monday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
In 2009, The Walt Disney Co. bought Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion, and most of the top-grossing superhero films of all time — led by Avengers: Infinity War’s $2.05 billion worldwide take earlier this year — have featured Marvel characters. Lee launched the internet-based Stan Lee Media in 1998, and the superhero creation, production and marketing studio went public a year later. However, when investigators uncovered illegal stock manipulation by his partners, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2001. (Lee was never charged.)
In 2002, Lee published an autobiography, Excelsior! The Amazing Life of Stan Lee. Survivors include his daughter and younger brother Larry Lieber, a writer and artist for Marvel. Another daughter, Jan, died in infancy. His wife, Joan, was a hat model whom he married in 1947. The never-bashful Lee appeared in cameos in the Marvel movies, shown avoiding falling concrete, watering his lawn, delivering the mail, crashing a wedding, playing a security guard, etc.