Stan Lee, the legendary co-creator of Marvel Comics, has died at the age of 95. TMZ was the first to report that 95-year-old Lee was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center early Monday, November 12, 2018.
He passed away at the hospital. His daughter, J.C., confirmed her father’s passing to the website. She described Lee as “the greatest, most decent man.” She added, “My father loved all of his fans.” Lee’s exact cause of death was not immediately shared.
Stan Lee Had Previous Health Problems, Specifically With His Lungs & Heart
At the beginning of February of 2018, Lee battled pneumonia and had to spend a night in the hospital. He released a video statement on February 28 reassuring worried fans that he was recuperating.
In 2012, Lee underwent major heart surgery. Doctors installed a pacemaker to help regulate his heartbeat. Lee joked at the time that he had chosen to go ahead with the surgery in order to have more in common with Tony Stark, otherwise known as the Avenger Iron Man. Lee’s statement read:
“Attention, Troops! This is a dispatch sent from your beloved Generalissimo, directly from the center of Hollywood’s combat zone! Now hear this! Your leader hath not deserted thee! In an effort to be more like my fellow Avenger, Tony Stark, I have had an electronic pace-maker placed near my heart to insure that I’ll be able to lead thee for another 90 years. But fear thee not, my valiant warriors. I am in constant touch with our commanders in the field and victory shall soon be ours. Now I must end this dispatch and join my troops, for an army without a leader is like a day without a cameo!”
Stan Lee is Credited With Bringing Epic Superheroes Such as Iron Man, Spider-Man & Black Panther to Life
Stan Lee will forever be remembered and credited as the person who created or co-created immensely popular comic book heroes including Spider-Man, the Hulk, Thor, the Avengers, the X-Men, Black Panther, Doctor Strange and Ant-Man. He and business partner Jack Kirby launched Marvel Comics in 1961. Their very first comic released was the Fantastic Four.
A central theme to Lee’s characters was their relatability. Superheroes and villains alike had flaws and everyday concerns. Spider-Man is a high school student who stresses about how to get a date with Mary Jane. Thor has sibling drama with brother Loki.
The Hollywood Reporter reported that in a 1979 interview, rockstar Gene Simmons counted himself a fan of Marvel Comics and Stan Lee. “His stories taught me that even superheroes like Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk have ego deficiencies and girl problems and do not live in their macho fantasies 24 hours a day. Through the honesty of guys like Spider-Man, I learned about the shades of gray in human nature.”
Stan Lee Made Cameo Appearances in Each Marvel Movie
Stan Lee has made cameo appearances in every Marvel movie. Insider put together a list of all 56 appearances, which began in 1989. He showed up as a jury member in the made-for-TV movie, “The Trial of the Incredible Hulk.”
In 2004, Lee portrayed a superhero himself, when he rescues a woman from debris during “Spider-Man 2.” In 2010’s “Iron Man 2,” Tony Stark mistakenly thinks Lee is news reporter Larry King. Lee is spotted in “Guardians of the Galaxy” in 2014 by Rocket Raccoon, flirting with a young woman. In 2018’s “Black Panther,” Lee can be seen gambling in the casino.
Stan Lee Loved Reaching Out Through Social Media & Often Posted Videos in Which He Directly Addressed Fans
Lee will also be remembered for sharing a dialogue with his fans. Even at age 95, Lee kept up a steady stream of Instagram posts for his nearly 7 million followers.
His last posted video message was on October 12. In the video, Lee describes the decision in 1971 to incorporate an anti-drug storyline into Spider-Man. Lee said it was important to share the message without being “preachy.” At the time of his death, Lee was partnering with the Drug Enforcement Agency, Elks DAP and Smosh to create an anti-drug messaging.
Tributes to Stan Lee have been pouring in on social media upon the news of his death, including from Marvel Comic actors.
J. August Richards wrote, “You’re going to see a lot of these today because he touched so many of our lives and was incredibly gracious in person. Thank you Stan Lee for allowing me to dream as a child then realize my dream as an adult…”
Chris Evans wrote, “There will never be another Stan Lee. For decades he provided both young and old with adventure, escape, comfort, confidence, inspiration, strength, friendship and joy. He exuded love and kindness and will leave an indelible mark on so, so, so many lives. Excelsior!!”
Walt Disney, which owns Marvel Entertainment, issued a statement that reads in part: “Today, Marvel Comics and The Walt Disney Company pause and reflect with great sadness on the passing of its Marvel Chairman Emeritus, Stan Lee. With a heavy heart, we share our deepest condolences with his daughter and brother, and we honor and remember the creator, voice and champion of Marvel Comics.
“Stan Lee was as extraordinary as the characters he created. A super hero 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,” said Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company.”