Stan Lee Biography, The Father of Spider Man


Who is Stan Lee? The life and career of Stan Lee, the father of Spider-Man, creator of the Marvel world.

Stan Lee (born Stanley Martin Lieber, December 28, 1922 – November 12, 2018) was an American comics writer, editor, producer and editor. He was the editor in chief of Marvel Comics, and later its editor and president, leading its expansion from a small division of an editorial to a large multimedia corporation.

In collaboration with several artists, especially Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, he co-created fictional characters such as Spider-Man, Hulk, Doctor Strange, Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Black Panther, X-Men and, together with his brother, the co -writer Larry Lieber, the characters Ant-Man, Iron Man and Thor. In doing so, he pioneered a more complex approach to writing to superheroes in the 1960s, and in the 1970s he challenged the standards of the Comic Code Authority, which indirectly led him to update his policies.

After his retirement from Marvel, he remained a public figure for the company, and often made appearances in films based on Marvel characters. Meanwhile, he continued his independent creative adventures until he was 90 until his death in 2018.

Stan Lee

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Lee was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Will Eisner Prize in the comic book industry in 1994 and in the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1995. He received a National Medal of the Arts in 2008.


Early life

Stanley Martin Lieber was born on December 28, 1922 in Manhattan, New York, in the apartment of his Jewish immigrant parents of Romanian descent, Celia (née Solomon) and Jack Lieber, at the corner of West 98th Street and West End Avenue in Manhattan . His father, trained as a dressmaker, worked only sporadically after the Great Depression, and the family moved to Fort Washington Avenue, in Washington Heights, Manhattan. Lee had a younger brother named Larry Lieber. He said in 2006 that as a child he was influenced by books and films, particularly those with Errol Flynn who play heroic roles. By the time Lee was a teenager, the family lived in an apartment at 1720 University Avenue in The Bronx. Lee has described it as “an apartment on the third floor with a view to the back”. Lee and her brother shared the bedroom, while their parents slept on a folding sofa.

Lee attended DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx. In his youth, Lee enjoyed writing and entertained himself with the dreams of writing the “Great American Novel” one day. He has said that in his youth he worked part-time jobs, such as writing obituaries for a news service and press releases for the National Tuberculosis Center; deliver sandwiches for Jack May Pharmacy to the offices at Rockefeller Center; working as an office employee for a pants manufacturer; ushering in the Rivoli theater on Broadway; and sale of subscriptions to the New York Herald Tribune. He graduated from high school early, was 16 and a half years old in 1939, and joined the WPA Federal Theater Project.


Early career

With the help of his uncle Robbie Solomon, Lee became an assistant in 1939 in the new Timely Comics division of pulp magazine and comic book company Martin Goodman. Fittingly, in the 1960s, it would become Marvel Comics. Lee, whose cousin Jean was Goodman’s wife, was formally hired by Timely’s editor, Joe Simon.

His duties were prosaic at first. “In those days I dipped the pen in ink, I had to make sure the inkpots were full,” Lee recalled in 2009. “I went down and got them their lunch, checked and erased the pencils from the pages that were finished for them.” Taking advantage of his childhood ambition to be a writer, the young Stanley Lieber made his debut in comics with the text “Captain America Foils the Traitor’s Revenge” in Captain America Comics # 3 (dated May 1941), under the pseudonym Stan Read. Which years later he would adopt as his legal name. Lee explained later in his autobiography and in many other sources that he intended to keep his first name for more literary works. This initial story also introduced the trademark of Captain America, the launch of shields.

Lee in the Army, early 1940s

Lee in the Army, early 1940s (Source :

He graduated from writing fillings to real comics with a backup feature, “‘Headline’ Hunter, foreign correspondent,” two problems later. The first joint creation of Lee’s superheroes was The Destroyer, in Mystic Comics # 6 (August 1941). Other characters that he co-created during this period that fans and historians call the Golden Age of Comics include Jack Frost, who debuted in the US. Comics # 1 (August 1941), and Father Time, which debuted in Captain America Comics # 6 (August 1941).

When Simon and his creative partner Jack Kirby left in late 1941, after a dispute with Goodman, the 30-year-old editor installed Lee, just under 19, as interim editor. The young man showed a special ability for the business that led him to remain as editor-in-chief of the comics division, as well as art director for much of that time, until 1972, when he would succeed Goodman as editor.

Lee joined the United States Army in early 1942 and served within the United States as a member of the Signal Corps, repairing telegraph poles and other communications equipment. He was later transferred to the Cinematographic Training Division, where he worked writing manuals, training films, slogans and occasionally drawing cartoons. His military classification, he says, was “playwright”; He adds that only nine men in the United States Army received that title. Vincent Fago, editor of Timely’s “Animation Comics” section, which published humor and funny animal comics, completed until Lee returned from his World War II military service in 1945. Lee joined the Association of Regimes. Signal Corps and was awarded an honorary membership of the 2nd Battalion of the 3rd US Infantry Regiment. UU outside the Joint Base Lewis-McChord in the Emerald City Comic Con 2017 for his previous service.


In the mid-1950s, when the company was generally known as Atlas Comics, Lee wrote stories in a variety of genres that included romance, westerns, humor, science fiction, medieval adventures, horror and suspense. In the 1950s, Lee joined comic book colleague Dan DeCarlo to produce the syndicated newspaper strip, My Friend Irma, based on the radio comedy starring Marie Wilson. By the end of the decade, Lee had felt dissatisfied with his career and considered leaving the field.

Wonder Revolution

In the late 1950s, DC Comics editor Julius Schwartz revived the archetype of superheroes and experienced significant success with his updated version of Flash, and later with the super-team of the Justice League of America. . In response, editor Martin Goodman assigned Lee to create a new team of superheroes. Lee’s wife suggested that he experiment with the stories he preferred, since he planned to change careers and had nothing to lose.

Lee followed that advice, giving his superheroes an imperfect humanity, a change from the ideal archetypes that were typically written for pre-teens. Before this, most superheroes were perfect idealistic people without serious and lasting problems. Lee introduced complex and naturalistic characters who might have a temper, fits of melancholy and vanity; They argued among themselves, worried about paying their bills and impressing their girlfriends, got bored or even got physically sick at times.

The first group of superheroes that Lee and the artist Jack Kirby created together were Fantastic Four, based on Kirby’s previous superhero team, Challengers of the Unknown, published by DC Comics. The immediate popularity of the team led Lee and Marvel illustrators to produce a large number of new titles. Back working with Kirby, Lee co-created Hulk, Thor, Iron Man and X-Men; with Bill Everett, Daredevil; and with Steve Ditko, the most successful character of Doctor Strange and Marvel, Spider-Man, all of whom lived in a completely shared universe. Lee and Kirby reunited to several of their personages newly created in the title of the equipment The Avengers and revivirían personages of the decade of 1940, like Sub-Mariner and Captain America.

Comic book historian Peter Sanderson wrote that in the 1960s:

“DC was the equivalent of the great Hollywood studios: after the brilliance of DC’s reinvention of the superhero … in the late 1950s and early 1960s, there had been a creative drought for At the end of the decade there was a new audience for comics, now, and not only young children had traditionally read the books, the wonder of the 1960s was in its own way the counterpart of the French New Wave … Marvel was pioneer in the new methods of narration and characterization of comics, more serious topics, and in the process of maintaining and attracting readers in their adolescence and beyond.In addition, among this new generation of readers were people who wanted to write or draw comics , within the new style that Marvel had been pioneering, and driving creativity, even further. “

Stan Lee in 1975

Stan Lee in 1975 (Source :

Lee’s revolution extended beyond characters and stories, to the way comics attracted readers and created a sense of community between fans and creators. He introduced the practice of regularly including a credit panel on the home page of each story, naming not only the writer and draftsman, but also the inker and inker. Regular news about Marvel staff members and upcoming stories were presented on the Bullpen Bulletins page, which (like the columns of letters that appeared in each title) was written in a friendly and talkative style. Lee commented that his goal was for fans to think of comic book creators as friends, and considered a sign of his success on this front that, at a time when letters to other comic book editors were normally directed to “Dear Editor” , Marvel addressed the creators by name (for example, “Dear Stan and Jack”). In 1967, the brand was well integrated into popular culture so that a WBAI radio show on March 3 with Lee and Kirby as guests was titled “Will Success Spoil Spiderman.”

Throughout the 1960s, Lee scripted, directed and edited most of the Marvel series, moderated the pages of the letters, wrote a monthly column called “Stan’s Soapbox,” and wrote an endless promotional copy, often signing his trademark motto, “Excelsior!” (which is also the motto of the state of New York). To maintain his workload and meet deadlines, he used a system that was previously used by several comic studios, but due to Lee’s success with him, it became known as the “Marvel Method.” In general, Lee would create a story with the artist and then prepare a brief synopsis instead of a full script. Based on the synopsis, the artist would fill in the assigned number of pages when determining and drawing the narration panel to panel. After the artist handed out the pages in pencil, Lee would write the word balloons and titles, and then supervise the letters and colors. In effect, the artists were co-plotters, whose first collaborative drafts were built by Lee. Lee recorded messages to the newly formed fan club of the Merry Marvel Marching Society in 1965.

After the departure of Ditko from Marvel in 1966, John Romita Sr. became Lee’s collaborator on The Amazing Spider-Man. In one year, he beat Fantastic Four to become the best seller in the company. The stories of Lee and Romita focused as much on the social and university life of the characters as on the adventures of Spider-Man. The stories became more thematic and addressed issues such as the Vietnam War, political elections and student activism. Robbie Robertson, featured in The Amazing Spider-Man # 51 (August 1967) was one of the first African-American characters in comics to play a serious supporting role. In the series Fantastic Four, the long career of Lee and Kirby produced many acclaimed stories, as well as characters that have become the center of Marvel, including the Inhumans and the Black Panther, an African king who would be the first black superhero of the comics

The story frequently cited as the best achievement of Lee and Kirby is the three-part “Galactus Trilogy” that began in Fantastic Four # 48 (March 1966), which recounts the arrival of Galactus, a cosmic giant who wanted to devour the planet and his herald. , the silver surfer. Fantastic Four # 48 was chosen as # 24 in the survey of the 100 Greatest Wonders of All Time by Marvel Readers in 2001. Editor Robert Greenberger wrote in his introduction to the story that “By the end of the fourth year of Fantastic Four, Stan “Lee and Jack Kirby seemed to be warming up. In retrospect, it was perhaps the most fertile period of any monthly title during the Marvel Era. “Comic book historian Les Daniels noted that” the mystical and metaphysical elements that dominated the saga perfectly adapted to the tastes of young readers in the decade. 1960s, and Lee soon discovered that history was a favorite on college campuses, with Lee and artist John Buscema launching the series The Silver Surfer in August 1968.

The following year, Lee and Gene Colan created the Falcon, the first African-American superhero of the comics in Captain America # 117 (September 1969). Then, in 1971, Lee indirectly helped to reform the Comics Code. The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in the United States had asked Lee to write a comic book story about the dangers of drugs and Lee conceived a three-subject secondary argument in The Amazing Spider-Man # 96-98 (with date May to July 1971). ), in which Peter Parker’s best friend becomes addicted to prescription drugs. The Code of Comics Authority refused to grant its seal because the stories showed the use of drugs; The anti-drug context was considered irrelevant. With Goodman’s cooperation and trusting that the government’s original request would give him credibility, Lee published the story without the seal. The comics sold well and Marvel won praise for their socially conscious efforts. Subsequently, the CCA relaxed the Code to allow negative descriptions of drugs, among other new freedoms.

Lee also supported the use of comic books to provide some social commentary on the real world, which often deals with racism and intolerance. “Stan’s Soapbox”, in addition to promoting an upcoming comics project, also addressed issues of discrimination, intolerance or prejudice.


In 1972, Lee stopped writing monthly comics to take on the role of editor. His latest issue of The Amazing Spider-Man was # 110 (July 1972) and his last Fantastic Four was # 125 (August 1972).

Later career

In later years, Lee became a decorative figure and a public face for Marvel Comics. He made appearances in comics conventions throughout the United States, giving lectures in schools and participating in round tables. Lee and John Romita Sr. released the comic strip of the Spider-Man newspaper on January 3, 1977. Lee’s final collaboration with Jack Kirby, The Silver Surfer: The Ultimate Cosmic Experience, was published in 1978 as part of the Marvel series Fireside Books and Considered Marvel’s first graphic novel. Lee and John Buscema produced the first issue of The Savage She-Hulk (February 1980), which featured Hulk’s cousin and created a Silver Surfer story for Epic Illustrated # 1 (spring of 1980). He moved to California in 1981 to develop Marvel’s film and television properties. He was an executive producer and made appearances in film adaptations of Marvel and other films. Occasionally, he returned to writing comics with several Silver Surfer projects, including a 1982 book by John Byrne, the graphic novel of Judgment Day illustrated by John Buscema, the limited series Parable drawn by the French artist Mœbius and the graphic novel The Enslavers with Keith Tree Topped. Lee was briefly president of the entire company, but soon retired to become editor, and discovered that being president was too much about numbers and finances and not enough about the creative process he enjoyed.

Peter Paul and Lee started a new study of creation, production and marketing of Internet-based superheroes, Stan Lee Media, in 1998. It grew to 165 people and was made public through a reverse merger structured by investment banker Stan Medley in 1999, but, near the end of 2000, investigators discovered the illegal manipulation of stocks by Paul and corporate officer Stephan Gordon. Stan Lee Media filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February 2001. Paul was extradited to the US. UU Brazil and pleaded guilty to violating SEC Rule 10b-5 in connection with the negotiation of its shares in Stan Lee Media. Lee was never involved in the scheme. In 2001, Lee, Gill Champion and Arthur Lieberman formed POW! (Purveyors of Wonder) Entertainment to develop film, television and videogame properties. Lee created the animated series of superheroes Stripperella for Spike TV. In the 2004 POW! The entertainment was made public. Also that year, Lee announced a superhero show that would feature Ringo Starr, the former Beatle, as the main character. In addition, in August of that year, Lee announced the launch of Sunday Comics by Stan Lee, a short-term subscription service hosted by From July 2006 to September 2007, Lee hosted, co-created, executive produced and judged the reality TV show Who Wants to Be a Superhero on the SciFi Channel. On March 15, 2007, after Stan Lee Media was purchased by Jim Nesfield, the company filed a lawsuit against Marvel Entertainment for $ 5 billion, alleging that Lee had granted his rights to several Marvel characters to Stan Lee Media. change of actions and a salary. . On June 9, 2007, Stan Lee Media sued Lee; Your new company, POW! Entertainment; and POW! QED entertainment subsidiary.

In 2008, Lee wrote comic legends for fumetti’s political book Stan Lee presents Election Daze: What are they really saying? In April of that year, Brighton Partners and Rainmaker Animation announced a POW! to produce a CGI, Legion of 5 movie series. Other Lee projects announced in the late 2000s include a super comic book line for Virgin Comics, a television adaptation of the novel Hero, a Skyscraperman prologue by Skyscraper Fire -Safety Advate and Spider Man’s fan Dan Goodwin, a partnership with Guardian Media Entertainment and The Guardian Project to create NHL superhero mascots and work with the Eagle Initiative program to find new talent in the field of comics.

Lee promoting Stan Lee's Kids Universe at the 2011 New York Comic Con

Lee promoting Stan Lee’s Kids Universe at the 2011 New York Comic Con (Source :

In October 2011, Lee announced that he would partner with 1821 Comics on a children’s multimedia footprint, the Stan Lee Children’s Universe, a movement he said addressed the lack of comic books aimed at that demographic; and that he collaborated with the company in his futuristic graphic novel Romeo & Juliet: The War, the writer Max Work and the artist Skan Srisuwan. At the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con International, Lee announced his YouTube channel, Stan Lee’s World of Heroes, which broadcasts programs created by Lee, Mark Hamill, Peter David, Adrianne Curry and Bonnie Burton, among others. Lee wrote the book Zodiac, published in January 2015, with Stuart Moore. Stan Lee’s Annihilator film, based on a Chinese prisoner turned superhero named Ming and in production since 2013, premiered in 2015.

In his later career, Lee’s contributions continued to expand outside the style he helped pioneer. An example of this is his first work for DC Comics in the 2000s, with the launch of the series Just Imagine …, in which Lee reimagined the superheroes of DC Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Flash. Manga projects involving Lee include Karakuridôji Ultimo, a collaboration with Hiroyuki Takei, Viz Media and Shueisha, and Heroman, serialized in the Square Enix Shōnen Gangan Monthly with the Japanese company Bones. In 2011, Lee began writing a live action musical, The Yin and Yang Battle of Tao.

In this period also several collaborators honor Lee for his influence in the comics industry. In 2006, Marvel commemorated Lee’s 65th birthday with the company by publishing a series of comics starring Lee himself that meet and interact with many of his co-creations, such as Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, The Thing, Silver Surfer and Doctor. Condemn. These comics also featured short pieces by comic book creators such as Joss Whedon and Fred Hembeck, as well as reprints of classic adventures written by Lee. At Comic-Con International in 2007, Marvel Legends presented an action figure by Stan Lee. The body below the removable fabric wardrobe of the figure is a reused mold of a Spider-Man action figure previously released, with minor changes. Comikaze Expo, the largest comic book convention in Los Angeles, was renamed Stan Lee’s Comikaze Presented by POW! Entertainment in 2012.

At Comic-Con International 2016, Lee presented his digital graphic novel “God Woke” by Stan Lee, with a text originally written as a poem that he presented at Carnegie Hall in 1972. The printed version of the book won the Editor’s Award for independent books 2017 Independent Voice Award Books of the Year.

Charity work

The Stan Lee Foundation was founded in 2010 to focus on literacy, education and the arts. Its stated objectives include support programs and ideas that improve access to literacy resources, as well as the promotion of diversity, national literacy, culture and the arts. Lee donated parts of his personal effects to the University of Wyoming on several occasions, between 1981 and 2001.

Fictional representations

Lee and his collaborator Jack Kirby appear as themselves in The Fantastic Four # 10 (January 1963), the first of several appearances in the fictional universe of Marvel. Both are shown as similar to their real world counterparts, creating comics based on the “real” adventures of the Fantastic Four.

Kirby parodied Lee in the comics published by his rival DC Comics as Funky Flashman. Later, Kirby portrayed himself, Lee, production executive Sol Brodsky and Lee’s secretary Flo Steinberg as superheroes in What If # 11 (October 1978), “What would happen if the Marvel Bullpen had become Fantastic Four? “, in which Lee played the role of Fantastic Lord Lee has also made numerous appearances in many Marvel titles, appearing in audiences and crowds at ceremonies and parties of many characters, and organizing a gathering of soldiers in the sergeant. Fury and its Howling Commands # 100 (July 1972). Lee appeared, without a name, as the priest at the wedding of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones at the New Avengers Annual # 1 (June 2006). Pay your respects to Karen Page at her funeral in Daredevil vol. 2, # 8 (June 1998), and appears in The Amazing Spider-Man # 169 (June 1977).


In 1994, artist Alex Ross played Lee as patron of a bar on page 44 of Marvels # 3. In the series of titles “Flashback” of Marvel, dated July 1997, a cartoon of Lee as a master of ceremonies presented stories that detailed the events in the lives of the characters of Marvel before they became superheroes, in editions special “-1” of many Marvel titles. . The performance of Lee’s “master of ceremonies” was originally from Generation X # 17 (July 1996), where the character narrated a story set primarily in an abandoned circus. Although the story itself was written by Scott Lobdell, the narration of “Ringmaster Stan” was written by Lee, and the character was drawn in that edition by Chris Bachalo.

Lee and other comic book creators are mentioned on page 479 of Michael Chabon’s 2000 novel about the comic book industry The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. Chabon also recognizes a debt with Lee and other creators on the Notes page of the author of the book.

In one of the last pages of Truth: Red, White & Black, Lee appears in a real photograph among other celebrities on a wall of Bradley’s house. Under its name of Stanley Lieber, Stan Lee appears briefly in the novel of Paul Malmont in 2006, The Chinatown Death Cloud Pelil.

In Stan Lee Meets Superheroes, which Lee wrote, he comes in contact with some of his favorite creations. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby appear as professors in Marvel Adventures Spider-Man # 19. In 2013, The Violent Century, by Lavie Tidhar, featured Lee, under his birth name of “Stanley Martin Lieber”, as a superhuman historian. Appearances in cinema and television.

Stan Lee was an accredited executive producer on most of the Marvel film and television projects from the 1990 film directed to the Captain America video.

Stan Lee had appearances on many Marvel film and television projects, including those within the Marvel film universe. Some of these appearances are self-aware and, at times, refer to Lee’s participation in the creation of certain characters. He had completed the filmed footage of his cameo in the next fourth movie of The Avengers before his death.

Personal life

Stan Lee grew up in a Jewish family, but in a 2002 survey about whether he believed in God, he said: “Well, let me say it this way … No, I’m not going to try to be smart, I really do not know. I know “.

From 1945 to 1947, Lee lived in the last rented apartment of a red-stone house in the East 90’s in Manhattan. He married Joan Clayton Boocock on December 5, 1947, and in 1949, the couple bought a house in Woodmere, New York, on Long Island, which lived there until 1952. His daughter Joan Celia “J. C.” Lee was born in 1950. Another child, his daughter Jan Lee, died three days after giving birth in 1953.

The Lees resided in the city of Hewlett Harbor, New York, on Long Island, from 1952 to 1980. They also owned a condominium on East 63rd Street in Manhattan from 1975 to 1980, and during the 1970s owned a vacation home in Remsenburg, New York. To move to the west coast in 1981, they bought a house in West Hollywood, California, which was previously owned by comedian Jack Benny Don Wilson.

In September 2012, Lee underwent an operation to insert a pacemaker, which required canceling the scheduled appearances at the conventions. In April 2018, The Hollywood Reporter published a report stating that Lee had been a victim of elder abuse; the report claimed that, among others, Keya Morgan, a memory collector, had been isolating Lee from his friends and trusted associates after his wife’s death, in order to access Lee’s wealth, which is estimated to be a value of US $ 50 million. Ultimately, in August 2018, Morgan was issued a restraining order to stay away from Lee, his daughter or his associates for three years.


Stan Lee died at the age of 95 at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, on November 12, 2018, after being taken there in a medical emergency at the beginning of the day. Earlier this year, Lee revealed to the public that he had been battling pneumonia, and in February he was rushed to hospital for worsening conditions around the hospital.


His death was greeted with a wave of tributes, including the stars of Marvel and his friends Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, Tom Holland, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Lawrence, Ryan Reynolds, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and many plus.

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