Marvel Comics writer, editor, and publisher Stan Lee has died, and creatives from Hollywood and beyond are mourning his passing and celebrating his life
Just 18 months after his wife of 69 years, Joan Lee, passed away, comic book legend Stan Lee has died. The man, whose name was synonymous with Marvel Comics, was 95 years old.
Lee was born during the depression to Jewish immigrant parents and grew up in New York City with a big imagination. He began working in the comic book industry at the early age of 17, and went on to become a writer, editor, producer, and chairman at Marvel Comics, which he developed from a small, unknown imprint to one of the dominating forces in the comic book world — a multimedia corporation worth $4 billion.
More importantly than his monetary successes, though, Lee evolved the comic book story, turning away from “perfect” superheroes like Superman, and focusing on protagonists that had flaws — and protagonists who had superpowers that both harmed and helped them as they struggled toward finding justice. Among the countless characters that he helped develop, Lee is credited with the creation of Spider-Man, the Hulk, Iron Man, Ant-Man, Thor, Doctor Strange, the Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Black Panther, and the X-Men.
Lee was rushed to Cedar’s Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on Monday for a medical emergency and died the same day, according to CNN.
All over Twitter, artists and celebrities reacted to the news of his death with condolences, tributes, and memories of the man — from people who portrayed his characters on the silver screen, to comic book writers, to creatives who were simply comforted or inspired by his work when they were kids.
Thank you Stan Lee for making people who feel different realize they are special.
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) November 12, 2018
He was a friend. When we were afraid, he gave us strength. When we were alone, he gave us a family. He may be gone, but his teachings live on through us, his students. Wherever we may go, we must carry on his vision. And that is a vision of a world united. RIP Stan Lee pic.twitter.com/ieicZNWzWr
— Rebecca Romijn (@RebeccaRomijn) November 12, 2018
I was first interviewed for Stan Lee's obituary about 20 years ago. I was happy he defied the reaper and carried on. With Stan gone, an era really does come to an end. He was the happy huckster that comics needed. And he really did alliterate like that when you talked to him.
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) November 12, 2018
Mayor Bill de Blasio honored Lee for choosing New York City as the setting for some of his characters’ stories.
Stan Lee created some of the most incredible and enduring characters of our time, and he chose New York City as the place to tell their stories. On behalf of his hometown, I want to express our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) November 12, 2018
Thank you @TheRealStanLee for the escape from this world & great joy inhabiting the ones you created!! You made so many believe in the good, the heroic, the villainous, the exciting, most of all, you were giving & gracious to us all. RIP
— Samuel L. Jackson (@SamuelLJackson) November 12, 2018
I've always had a hard time believing in things: hope, others, God, myself. Stan Lee made me believe in superheroes. Every comic, character, and film filled me with a sense of wonder and joy I rarely found elsewhere in life. You will be missed, but never forgotten. 💔 #Excelsior
— Eugene Lee Yang (@EugeneLeeYang) November 12, 2018
Many are remembering how Lee spoke out against anti-Semitism years ago. “Bigotry and racism are among the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today… Sooner or later… we must fill our hearts with tolerance,” he wrote.
#RIP Stan Lee, who spoke out against anti-Semitism decades ago, writing: "Sooner or later…we must fill out hearts with tolerance."
— Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) November 12, 2018
Many are telling their stories of how Lee changed their lives.
What a man. What a life.
When I first broke into Hollywood, he welcomed me with open arms and some very sage advice I’ll forever take to heart.
A true icon who impacted generations around the world.
Rest in love, my friend. #imagination #stanlee 💫 pic.twitter.com/dw3FXMgyHp
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) November 12, 2018
Stan Lee changed my life not once but twice. First when I was a kid and realised the superheroes I loved in comic-books and on TV could actually be a job. Then he did it again when I was working at Marvel and he convinced to start my Millarworld company.
— Mark Millar (@mrmarkmillar) November 12, 2018
And so many are speaking out about how much he will be missed.
His contribution to Pop Culture was revolutionary & cannot be overstated. He was everything you hoped he would be & MORE. I loved this man & will never stop missing him. They say you should never meet a childhood idol. They are wrong. #RIPStanTheMan pic.twitter.com/6OKH07ahJg
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) November 12, 2018
RIP Stan Lee, ‘nuff said. pic.twitter.com/u0zw3n0L8y
— brian redban (@redban) November 12, 2018
Stan Lee. A Marvel. pic.twitter.com/etg33JOphp
— Michael Green (@andmichaelgreen) November 12, 2018
— ledisi (@ledisi) November 12, 2018
His impact was so wide-ranging, but most of all, he will be remembered for being an all-around good human, as summed up beautifully by Chris Pine.