Spider-Man, Doctor Strange Co-Creator Steve Ditko’s Cause of Death Revealed

Yesterday, the world learned of the loss of legendary comic book artist Steve Ditko. Now a new report brings to light the 90-year-old master artist’s cause of death.

According to TMZ, the chief medical examiner listed the cause of death as “arteriosclerotic and hypertensive cardiovascular disease.” In layman’s terms, Ditko had a heart attack caused by clogged arteries.

Ditko is best known for co-creating two of Marvel Comics’ most iconic characters, Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, with Stan Lee. Ditko famously had a falling out with Lee and Marvel and became reclusive for the remainder of his life.

After news of Ditko’s death broke, several Marvel executives released statements remembering Ditko and his legacy.

“Only a small group of individuals can claim that they have effected and redefined not just an industry, but popular culture worldwide,” said Joe Quesada, Marvel’s chief creative officer. “Steve Ditko was one of those few who dared to break molds every time his pencil and pen hit a blank sheet of paper. In his lifetime he blessed us with gorgeous art, fantastical stories, heroic characters and a mystical persona worthy of some of his greatest creations. And much like his greatest co-creation, Steve Ditko’s legend and influence will outlive us all.”

Marvel editor-in-chief CB Cebulski said, “It’s impossible to put into words the impact that Steve Ditko had not just on comics, but on modern pop culture. With ink and imagination, he thrilled readers with amazing and awe-inspiring adventures. Ditko didn’t just create characters – he built worlds. But today it is our world that is saddened by his loss. While he may no longer walk this mortal plane, Steve’s legacy will continue to endlessly inspire us all.”

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Marvel Entertainment president Dan Buckley said, “Today, the Marvel family mourns the loss of Steve Ditko. Steve transformed the industry and the Marvel Universe, and his legacy will never be forgotten. Our thoughts are with his family, loved ones, and fans during this sad time.”

Nick Lowe, Marvel executive editor in the Spider-Man office and vice president of content, digital publishing, said, “Steve Ditko’s hands and soul are all over the best character in all of fiction. He was a pillar of the House of Ideas who not only co-created Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, but many of the best villains in comic book history. Steve was the first to make Marvel truly weird, and for that we are forever grateful.”