Stan Lee is an American comic-book writer, editor, publisher, media producer, television host, actor, and former president and chairman of Marvel Comics.
Let’s find out some fun facts about him!
1. Stanley Martin Lieber was born December 28, 1922 in in New York City, U.S. in the apartment of his Romanian-born Jewish immigrant parents, Celia and Jack Lieber, at the corner of West 98th Street and West End Avenue in Manhattan.
2. His father, trained as a dress cutter, worked only sporadically after the Great Depression, and the family moved further uptown to Fort Washington Avenue, in Washington Heights, Manhattan. When Lee was nearly 9, his only sibling, brother Larry Lieber, was born.
3. He said in 2006 that as a child he was influenced by books and movies, particularly those with Errol Flynn playing heroic roles.
4. By the time Lee was in his teens, the family was living in a one-bedroom apartment at 1720 University Avenue in The Bronx.
5. Lee has described it as “a third-floor apartment facing out back”, with he and his brother sharing a bedroom and his parents using a foldout couch.
6. Lee attended DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx.
7. In his youth, Lee enjoyed writing, and entertained dreams of one day writing the “Great American Novel”.
8. He has said that in his youth he worked such part-time jobs as writing obituaries for a news service and press releases for the National Tuberculosis Center; delivering sandwiches for the Jack May pharmacy to offices in Rockefeller Center; working as an office boy for a trouser manufacturer; ushering at the Rivoli Theater on Broadway; and selling subscriptions to the New York Herald Tribune newspaper.
9. He graduated from high school early, aged 16½ in 1939, and joined the WPA Federal Theatre Project.
10. He became an editor at Timely Comics in 1941. Timely Comics would eventually be renamed “Atlas Comics” in the 1950s and was re-branded as “Marvel Comics” in 1961.
11. With the help of his uncle Robbie Solomon, Lee became an assistant in 1939 at the new Timely Comics division of pulp magazine and comic-book publisher Martin Goodman’s company.
12. Timely, by the 1960s, would evolve into Marvel Comics. Lee, whose cousin Jean was Goodman’s wife, was formally hired by Timely editor Joe Simon.
13. In collaboration with several artists, including Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, he created Spider-Man, the Hulk, Doctor Strange, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Daredevil, Thor, the X-Men, and many other fictional characters, introducing a thoroughly shared universe into superhero comic books.
14. In addition, he challenged the comics’ industry’s censorship organization, the Comics Code Authority, forcing it to reform its policies.
15. Lee subsequently led the expansion of Marvel Comics from a small division of a publishing house to a large multimedia corporation.
16. He was inducted into the comic book industry’s Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1995. Lee received a National Medal of Arts in 2008.
17. Lee was raised in a Jewish family. In a 2002 survey of whether he believes in God, he stated, “Well, let me put it this way… [Pauses.] No, I’m not going to try to be clever. I really don’t know. I just don’t know.”
18. He married Joan Clayton Boocock on December 5, 1947, and in 1949, the couple bought a two-story, three-bedroom home at 1084 West Broadway in Woodmere, New York, on Long Island, living there through 1952.
19. Their daughter Joan Celia “J.C.” Lee was born in 1950. Another child, Jan Lee, died three days after delivery in 1953.
20. The Lees resided at 226 Richards Lane in the Long Island town of Hewlett Harbor, New York, from 1952 to 1980.
21. They also owned a two-bedroom condominium on the 14th floor of 220 East 63rd Street in Manhattan from 1975 to 1980 and a vacation home on Cutler Lane in Remsenburg, New York.
22. For their move to the west coast in 1981, he and his wife bought a home in West Hollywood, California previously owned by comedian Jack Benny’s radio announcer, Don Wilson.
23. In late September 2012, Lee underwent a surgical operation to insert a pacemaker into his body, cancelling planned appearances at conventions.
24. Lee’s favorite authors include Stephen King, H. G. Wells, Mark Twain, Arthur Conan Doyle, William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, and Harlan Ellison.
25. When Spider-man married Mary Jane in 1987, Marvel held a publicity event at Shea Stadium in New York, featuring actors dressed like Spider-Man and Mary Jane. Stan officiated the wedding ceremony.
26. In 1998, Stan signed a lifetime deal with Marvel Enterprises, Inc. The contract only requires that he spend 10 percent of his time with the company. In a 2012 Reddit Q&A thread, he told a fan, “I don’t have any spare time.”
27. It is no secret that Stan has cameo roles in many Marvel movies, but did you know that it is actually part of his contract? A special clause in the agreement specifies that Stan must appear in any film based on one of his characters.
28. In 2008, President George W. Bush presented Stan with the American National Medal of the Arts.
29. In 2012, Stan co-wrote a New York Times bestselling graphic novel for 1821 Comics called Romeo and Juliet: The War.
Stan Lee is a playable character in downloadable content for the 2012 video game The Amazing Spider-Man.
30. If he could be one Marvel super villain, Stan has said he would want to be Dr. Doom.
31. Stan’s trademark catchphrase – “Excelsior!” – means “Ever upward.” It is also the New York state motto.
32. Stan is the recipient of the 2,428th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It is located at 7072 Hollywood Blvd, in front of the Live Nation Building.