Marvel, Disney Issue Statement Following Stan Lee's Death

Following Stan Lee’s death earlier today, Marvel has released a statement on the legendary creator's death.

Marvel's statement included a quote from Disney CEO and Chairman Bob Iger.

“Stan Lee was as extraordinary as the characters he created," Iger says. "A superhero 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."

The rest of Marvel's statement looks back on Lee's long career with the comic book publisher. You can read the full statement here.

Iger was the CEO of Disney in 2009 when the corporation purchased the then independent Marvel. In doing so, Disney became the parent company of one of the biggest film franchises in history, the Marvel Cinematic Universe which is based largely on characters and concept co-created by Lee and his collaborators.

Lee was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center from his home in Hollywood Hills early Monday morning. He died at the hospital later the same day. No cause of death has been named as of yet, but Lee has recently been stricken with a number of illnesses, including a bout of pneumonia. He was 95 years old.

Born Stanley Martin Lieber, Lee began working in comics in 1939, back when Marvel Comics was still Timely Comics but rose to prominence in the 1960s. He collaborated with Jack Kirby to create the Fantastic Four and birth the Marvel Universe as we know it, and with Steve Ditko to create Spider-Man and redefine what a superhero could be. From there, he helped create some of the most popular comic book, TV, a film characters ever, including the X-Men, the Avengers, Black Panther, Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, and Daredevil.

In an interview with ComicBook.com in 2015, Lee reflected on how he could never have expected his comics would spawn a multi-billion dollar franchise.

"No, no, years ago when I was doing these comics, we'd give the comic books away free to people," Lee said. "The printer would send us a lot of comics, more than we needed. A guy would come up to deliver sandwiches from the drug store. We'd say, 'On your way out, you want to take these books with you?' We would even give out original art work, we never though it would be worth anything! It's changed."

Lee’s wife of 70 years, Joan, died in 2017. He is survived by his daughter, JC.

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"My father loved all of his fans. He was the greatest, most decent man," JC said following Lee’s death.

Fans have been pouring out their appreciation for Stan “the Man” since the news broke. Other creators from Marvel Comics and around the comics and entertainment industries continue to voice their feelings about the seminal creator.