Comic book fiends, it’s time we saluted Stan Lee. Today, the geek icon and writer celebrates his 94th birthday.
Born Stanley Martin Leiber, the boy was raised in New York City by his parents Celia and Jack in 1922. As a child, Lee discovered his love of stories and movies. When Lee was a teenager, he would spend his free-time writing and doing part-time work creating press releases or obituaries.
After Lee graduated, the budding writer began working as an assistant at Timely Comics, a pulp magazine and comic book division of the Martin Goodman’s company. At first, Lee’s job consisted of standard office work, but he slowly began to take on more work. The creator went from writing filler content to actual comics. Barring Lee’s time in the military, the writer spent his time creating at Timely Comics before a new era was ushered in during the 1960s.
On the heels of DC Comics, Lee began to explore the budding superhero archetype and looked for ways to make them readable. To do this, he teamed up with artist Jack Kirby to create a team of heroes known as the Fantastic Four. The group was a hit from publication, and the duo went on to create now-iconic characters like Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, and the X-Men. Lee also helped create heroes like Doctor Strange and Daredevil with other co-collaborators. And, of course, Lee was instrumental in bringing these all-powerful superheroes into one team we know as the Avengers.
Over the years, Lee has become the de facto representatives for comics worldwide. Though he is primarily associated with Marvel Comics, Lee’s influence extends beyond the pop culture juggernaut. Even in his later years, Lee still acts as the face of Marvel Comics and encourages aspiring creators to pursue their comic book dreams. While Lee may be slowing down his convention appearances after this year closes, Lee’s legacy as a bonafide comic book icon will endure for years to come.
Let’s all wish Stan Lee a very happy birthday today. Excelsior!