Marvel Comics mastermind and comic book legend Stan Lee has died at age 95. No cause of death has been given, but The New York Times says that he died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles — better known to Who2 readers as the ER to the Stars.
Stan Lee’s in good company: Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball and the Henry Fonda are just a few of the celebrities who have died at Cedars-Sinai. Which is fitting, because Lee was the Frank Sinatra of modern comic books. Along with Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko he invented Spider-Man, and that was just for starters. As our biography notes, “In the 1960s Lee made Marvel into a comics powerhouse by introducing conflicted, wisecracking superheroes who were decidedly different from Superman’s prim persona.”
Even Stan Lee couldn’t have imagined the Marvel movie explosion of recent times: 20 Marvel movies in just the last 10 years, from Iron Man to Ant Man and the Wasp.
Last year a Hollywood Reporter feature titled Creative Until You Die described Lee’s “retirement” lifestyle:
Lee still maintains an active work schedule. An assistant picks him up at about 9 a.m. (Lee doesn’t drive because of failing eyesight) and drives him to his office, where he works until about 3 p.m. “See, a lot of men can’t wait to get away from the office so they can play golf or do something of the sort,” he says. “Now, if anybody forced me to play golf for a few hours a day, I’d shoot ’em. That doesn’t seem like much fun. Coming up with an idea for a movie or a television series or a book or a magazine, that to me is fun.”
Stan Lee didn’t get as rich as he could have — he signed away his points in the Marvel movies in 1998 for a reported $10 million plus a million a year for life, which now seems like peanuts. But he left quite a creative legacy. Good for him.
See our full Stan Lee biography »