Comic Book Mogul & Legend Stan Lee Is Dead At 95

Photo: Matt Carr/Getty Images.
A comic book legend has passed away.
According to reports, Spider-Man creator Stan Lee has died. He was 95.
Lee, who suffered from numerous health issues over the years, was taken from his Hollywood Hills home to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Grove early Monday morning, per TMZ. He reportedly died at the hospital Monday.
"My father loved all of his fans. He was the greatest, most decent man," Lee's daughter J.C. (Joan Celia) said in a statement to TMZ.
The New York City-raised Lee, born Stanley Martin Lieber, had a prolific career in comics, beginning when he was a teenager. Lee, born in 1922, was named interim editor for Timely Comics, which would later be renamed as Marvel Comics, in the early 1940s.
In the early ‘60s, he and his collaborator Jack Kirby created The Fantastic Four. In an interview with Inc. in 2009, Lee said of creating the iconic characters:
"At the time, DC Comics had a book called The Justice League, about a group of superheroes, that was selling very well. So in 1961 we did The Fantastic Four. I tried to make the characters different in the sense that they had real emotions and problems. And it caught on. After that, Martin [Goodman, who founded Timely Comics] asked me to come up with some other superheroes. That's when I did the X-Men and The Hulk. And we stopped being a company that imitated."
The success of this comic series led to Lee creating or co-creating now-iconic characters like Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, and Daredevil — characters whom, in 2018, have all received screen adaptations.
Lee, however, did not make the money one might expect from a franchise that grosses billions. Lee's former partner Kirby, who was a "work for hire" and did not receive royalties, and eventually settled with Marvel in 2015.
"I was stupid in a business way," Lee admitted to The Hollywood Reporter during a 2016 interview of his lack of immense wealth from his Marvel properties. "I should have been greedier."
Lee eventually moved to the west coast to oversee Marvel’s film ventures.
In recent years, Lee has faced personal and professional difficulties. In 2001, Lee co-founded POW! Entertainment in an effort to develop new projects and as a holding place for his intellectual property. In May of 2018, he sued POW! for $1 billion, stating that his co-founders "co-founders “forged or fraudulently obtained” his signature to allow his name and likeness to be used anytime. Lee later dropped the suit.
His personal life also included alleged tensions with his daughter, J.C., which included arguments over money. The LAPD reportedly investigated claims that a member of Lee's inner circle was abusing him by taking advantage of Lee’s impaired hearing, vision, and judgment.
Though Lee never quite cashed in on Marvel in terms of money, he was always a figurehead of the superhero universe. He's had cameos in dozens of movies and TV shows, including Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Infinity War, and Black Panther, one of the most well-reviewed and important films of the MCU.
Lee's legacy will live on in every character he created and fan he's touched with stories of loyalty, heroism, and justice.
On Monday, fans on social media expressed their thanks for Lee and his legendary characters.

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