Legendary comics writer and editor Stan Lee, 95, died November 12, 2018 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles CA.
During his long tenure at Marvel Comics, Lee helped create iconic characters like the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk, and Spider-Man. His groundbreaking collaborations with artist Jack Kirby include the Avengers and Thor. Lee popularized the “Marvel Method” of comic writing, which emphasized close collaboration between writers and artists. Under Lee’s leadership, Marvel revolutionized the field by humanizing superheroes, allowing them more complex personal lives than earlier characters tended to have. Many of his creations have become internationally recognizable, particularly with the ongoing success of the “Marvel Cinematic Universe” film franchise; Lee was famous for his cameos in many films based on Marvel properties.
Stanley Martin Leiber was born December 28, 1922 in Manhattan (he legally changed his name to Lee in the 1970s). He graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx and after working a few early jobs joined Timely Comics as a writer in 1939. The company changed its name to Atlas Comics and finally to Marvel Comics in 1963, and Lee was an editor there from 1942-72 and publisher and editorial director starting in 1972. In the late ’70s he concentrated mainly on developing film and TV adaptations, moving to Los Angeles in 1980. In the late ’90s Lee was made chairman emeritus at Marvel, and began to work on his own comics, TV, and film projects through various companies, with mixed success. He wrote about his life in Excelsior: The Amazing Life of Stan Lee (2002, with George Mair) and Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir (2015, with Peter David, illustrated by Colleen Doran).
Lee received a National Medal of Arts from the NEA in 2008, an Eaton Award for life achievement in SF in 2012, and was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2017. Lee was predeceased by his wife Joan in 2017, and is survived by their daughter, Joan Celia Lee (born 1950).