Stan Lee, the comic book mastermind who changed the landscape of the superhero genre by creating countless beloved characters, has died at age 95, Fox News reports.
TMZ reports that an ambulance rushed to Lee’s Hollywood Hills home early Monday morning and he was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. We’re told that’s where he died.
Lee had suffered several illnesses over the last year or so — he had a bout of pneumonia and vision issues.
Stan started Marvel with Jack Kirby in 1961 with The Fantastic Four. He went on to create Spider-Man, Black Panther, The Incredible Hulk, X-Men, Iron Man and The Avengers.
Stan made cameo appearances in all of the Marvel movies.
Some of Lee’s creations became symbols of social change — the inner turmoil of Spider-Man represented ’60s America, for example, while The Black Panther and The Savage She-Hulk mirrored the travails of minorities and women.
Lee scripted most of Marvel’s superhero comics himself during the ’60s, including the Avengers and the X-Men, two of the most enduring. In 1972, he became Marvel’s publisher and editorial director; four years later, 72 million copies of Spider-Man were sold.
The first big-budget movie based on Lee’s characters, “X-Men,” was a smash in 2000, earning more than $130 million at North American theaters. “Spider-Man” did even better, taking in more than $400 million in 2002.
Lee’s death falls on Veterans Day, which is fitting as he served in World War II with the U.S. Army Signal Corps from 1942 to 1945. Lee reportedly enlisted in the military shortly after hearing about the attack on Pearl Harbor.
In his final post to social media, he wished fans a happy Veterans Day while sharing an image of himself from his army days.
Lee had a rocky relationship with Marvel once the company went full-tilt Hollywood. He sued the company in 2002 for royalties he said he was owed for the first “Spider-Man” movie. Three years later he settled the case for $10 million.
“Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse” is the latest installment of the film’s franchise and will be released next month.
Lee is survived by his daughter, J.C. His wife of 69 years, Joan, died in 2017.
J.C. tells TMZ, “My father loved all of his fans. He was the greatest, most decent man.”
REST IN PEACE BROTHER.