Marvel Comics writer, editor, and publisher Stan Lee died on Monday at the age of 95. The legend, who will be mourned by comic-book lovers and Marvel movie and TV fans, was known as the creator and co-creator of some of Marvel’s most beloved characters, including the X-Men, Spider-Man, Iron Man, and Daredevil.
Lee began his long and esteemed career in the world of comic books in 1939, running errands for Marvel precursor Timely Comics before eventually being named editor after his war service. He remained editor as Timely was officially rebranded as Marvel in 1961, at which point he teamed with longtime collaborator Jack Kirby to create some of Marvel’s most iconic and enduring characters.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Lee set his sights on Hollywood, and television shows based on Marvel characters began to populate the airwaves. Animated series and, of course, blockbuster films woud follow in the ensuing decades, and Marvel grew to become a multimedia giant, with Lee as its fearless, beloved leader.
The entertainment world lost a legend today, and fans of the various comic books, TV shows, movies, video games, and more mourn his departure. We’ll miss his grinning face in MCU cameos and his signature “Excelsior!”, but his legacy lives on in the amazing creations he left behind. Here’s what some of his former colleagues had to say about him:
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. The scale of his imagination was only exceeded by the size of his heart.
– Bob Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company
Stan Lee’s contributions to Marvel, a company he helped forge into a household name, will forever live on and we will continue to celebrate the imaginative characters he helped create and the fantastic universe he helped build. My thoughts and prayers go out to his daughter and brother at this time.
– Ike Perlmutter, Chairman of Marvel Entertainment
To so many of us he was a father figure, a mentor, a best friend. Stan let us into the pages of his comics and into his world. He told us all about himself, warts and all. He made us laugh when things were bleakest, he let us in and made us feel like we were a part his family so that when he creatively took a chance and leaped off the precipice of that building, we were always right there with him. He wasn’t just a guy in a suit, he was Stan “The Man” Lee! Goodbye my friend and of course… EXCELSIOR!
– Joe Quesada, Chief Creative Officer, Marvel Entertainment
No one has had more of an impact on my career and everything we do at Marvel Studios than Stan Lee. Stan leaves an extraordinary legacy that will outlive us all. Our thoughts are with his daughter, his family, and the millions of fans who have been forever touched by Stan’s genius, charisma and heart. Excelsior!
– Kevin Feige, President, Marvel Studios
There aren’t enough hyperboles left in the Marvel Universe to cover the tremendous titan who was Stan Lee. His wondrous wit, his crafty creativeness, and his spectacular showmanship were all hallmarks of his genius. In the words of Benjamin J. Grimm, “I gotta go now, I think I got somethin’ in my eye.”
– Jeph Loeb, Executive VP, Head of Television, Marvel Entertainment
We’ll be updating this story with more detail shortly. In the meantime, you can check out Lee’s legacy through the films and TV series he worked on or read Marvel’s own memorial to its Chairman Emeritus.