Stan Lee, the legendary writer, editor and publisher of Marvel Comics died early morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, a family representative told The Hollywood Reporter. He was 95.
Kirk Schenck, an attorney for Lee's daughter, J.C. Lee, also confirmed his death. The cause of death is not yet known, according to Schneck.
Born Stanley Martin Lieber, he adopted Stan Lee as a pen name when he started writing comic book stories, and later made it his legal name.
Lee’s comics career began in the year 1939, when he was 17-year-old. He took an assistant job at Timely Comics, the predecessor to Marvel. Lee became closely associated with the company that would become Marvel comics and was associated with them for most of his adult life.
Lee after spending twenty years of his career in comics and when he was in the verge of quitting his job, he was ordered by his boss to emulate a line of super heroes done by their rival company DC comics. Lee completely transformed his super heroes by humanizing them. Making the characters have flaws, insecurities, self doubts and neurosis of an average human being which contradicted their supernatural strength. Lee told the Washington post in 1992 that he tried to make the characters more real with flesh and blood characters with personality.
This new approach of Lee helped foster a revival in a largely moribund profession.
Lee 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. All these superheroes have been adapted into blockbuster films, most of which were made after Disney acquired Marvel in a 4-billion-dollar deal in 2009.
Lee had recently suffered multiple illnesses, including a bout of pneumonia earlier this year, which he revealed during during a press conference in February. He said poor health had caused him to cancel several appearances.
"I want you all to know I'm thinking of you, of course I always think of the fans, and I hope you're all doing well, and I miss you all," Lee said at the time.
Tributes has been pouring in on social media after his death.
Robert Downey Jr, the actor who played Iron Man, wrote on Instagram, "I owe it all to you,,, Rest In Peace Stan..
Hugh Jackman, the actor who played Wolverine, paid tribute in a post on Twitter. "We've lost a creative genius. Stan Lee was a pioneering force in the superhero universe. I'm proud to have been a small part of his legacy and... to have helped bring one of his characters to life.
Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company said Stan Lee was "extraordinary".
"Stan Lee was as extraordinary as the characters he created. A super hero in his own right to Marvel fans around the world, Stan had the power to inspire, to entertain, and to connect," he said.