STAN LEE is known to the world as one of the most important and iconic figures in comic book history and ‘King of the Comic Con circuit’. Collaborating with several artists (most notably Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko), Stan co-created many of the most celebrated characters including Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Daredevil, Doctor Strange and more.
A New Yorker born and raised; Stan Lee was born on December 28 1922 to his Romanian-born, Jewish immigrant parents who brought him up in a tiny apartment in Manhattan and later, The Bronx. Stan was keenly interested in books and movies while growing up (especially those with Errol Flynn starring as the hero) and in his teenage years, he took great pleasure in writing and had aspirations of some day producing his own “Great American Novel”.
Stan took the opportunity to work as an assistant and later, interim editor at Timely Comics, a new division of Martin Goodman’s company which published Pulp Magazine and comic-books. At age nineteen, Stan got his aforementioned break as interim editor from Martin Goodman. Stan’s innate business sense shone through and ensured his prominent rise in the company as editor-in-chief as well as art director.
It was in the early nineteen-sixties that Stan Lee ushered in what has come to be known as “The Marvel Age of Comics,” creating major new superheroes while breathing life and style into such old favorites as Captain America, The Human Torch and The Sub Mariner. Stan used the pseudonym “Stan Lee’ for his work and decided to make it his legal name. He has since reflected that he initially decided to change it so that he could use his real name, Stanley Martin Lieber, on other works of literature that he hoped to publish. It was 1972 when Stan took the job of publisher and succeeded Martin Goodman.
Stan is credited with introducing complexity, naturalism and a thoroughly shared universe to the superhero comic book world. He revolutionized the relationship between reader and hero, creating a sense of community and empathy to real-world problems that had previously been unexplored. Stan’s success ultimately led to the expansion of Marvel Comics from the small-time publishing house to huge multimedia corporation.
Spider-Man, one of the most renowned characters of Stan’s co-creation started as a syndicated newspaper strip. It became the most successful of all syndicated adventure strips and has appeared in more than 500 newspapers worldwide.
Stan currently remains Chairman Emeritus of Marvel, as well as a member of the Editorial Board of Marvel Comics. Currently, he is the Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of POW! Entertainment, a multimedia entertainment company based in Beverly Hills, CA, which he founded with production partner Gill Champion and business affairs partner the late Arthur Lieberman. POW! has created numerous new characters and stories in areas including publishing, film, TV, reality, stage, documentary, and multimedia.
He was awarded the 2008 American National Medal of the Arts for his services to comic books and production.