Best known for his contribution to Marvel Comics, the man, the myth, the legend, Stan Lee, passed away November 12, 2018 due to heart and respiratory issues.
Born December 28, 1922 as Stanley Martin Lieber, Lee lived a great long life.
His personal life was full, having married his wife, Joan Clayton Boocock, in 1947 and having a child at 1950. With numerous health struggles in the 2000s and the 2010s, Lee continued to thrive until his last day on Earth.
His life in the spotlight was even crazier. He began drawing at Timely Comics at only seventeen years old. He entered the military in 1942 and served by making instructional videos, slogans and cartoons for the U.S. Army. He also worked in a division with Dr. Seuss and Frank Capra.
He returned from service in 1945 and by the 1960s, Timely Comics had evolved into Marvel Comics. This is where Stan Lee reached the height of his career.
Lee created and co-created several superheroes still heard about today including the Fantastic Four, Hulk, Spider-man, Iron Man, the X-Men, Daredevil, Doctor Strange and so many more. Lee was adamant about making these heroes seem like more than just characters, he wanted them to have lives of their own.
Throughout the 1960s, not only was he creating amazing superheroes, but he was doing other things for Marvel as well. Lee scripted, art-directed and edited almost all of Marvel’s series. He also moderated letters pages, created monthly columns and wrote numerous amounts of promotional copy which he often signed off on with his catchphrase, “Excelsior!”
Stan Lee supported using comics as a way to provide some social commentary about real world issues. Most of the time, he tackled issues dealing with racism and bigotry.
Lee eventually strayed from Marvel and co-formed POW! Entertainment in 2001 to develop film, television and video games. One of his biggest successes was a show called “Stripperella” which aired on SpikeTV.
Despite his departure from Marvel, Lee was, and is, continuously commemorated for his contribution to comics, the characters kids have grown up with and the lives he’s affected.
One way he’s acknowledged for his work is through his cameos. He’s appeared in several comic book stories, many tv shows and even more movies, a bunch of which are in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In addition to his cameos, he has also been honored with several awards and accolades including the National Medal of Art in 2008 and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011.
Stan Lee cared about so much more than his own recognition. He cared about the world and the people in it.
In 2010, the Stan Lee Foundation was founded to focus on literacy, education, and the arts. It would also work to support programs that could improve access to these things on a regular basis.
Two days prior to his death, Stan Lee was still talking about doing more cameos. They were his favorite thing to do in the past decade.
So far, it has been revealed that he had filmed his cameos for the next two MCU movies as well as “Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse” and “Ralph Breaks the Internet.”
Personally, my father and his brothers grew up on Marvel Comics. Through the power of generations, I was exposed to Stan Lee’s creations at an early age.
The release of Iron Man in 2008 was the beginning of an era that I am grateful to be fully apart of. I can experience it all as it’s happening.
Marvel movies and their characters are a huge part of my life. I keep going because I can’t miss the next Marvel movie or the introduction of the newest MCU character.
I owe it all to Stan Lee. We all owe it to him for his contribution to marvel comics. If he hadn’t taken that first job at Timely Comics, whose to say we’d be where we are today in pop culture?