Stan Lee was born Stanley Martin Lieber on
December 28, 1922, in New York City. His
parents were poor Romanian immigrants that
encouraged him to read and work hard.
Because of his strong work ethic and love for
reading, Stan Lee went on to create some of
the greatest superheroes.
Comic Books. World Book. 2005 (#2)
One of Stan Lee’s most successful creations
was the Fantastic Four in 1961. The
Fantastic Four included Mr. Fantastic, the
Human Torch, the Thing, and the Invisible
Girl. Stan Lee was responsible for writing
and Jack Kirby illustrated the comic.
Stan Lee and George Mair. Excelsior! The Amazing Life
of Stan Lee. 2002 (#3)
During school, Leon B. Ginsberg, one of
Stan Lee’s favorite teachers, had a big
impact on him. Mr. Ginsberg would teach
by using humorous and exciting stories.
He taught Stan that learning could be fun.
It was easier to reach people with humor.
This philosophy would help Stan become
the popular American figure he is today.
Stan Lee and George Mair. Excelsior! The Amazing
Life of Stan Lee. 2002 (#4)
Another thing that helped Stan Lee fuel his
imagination and help turn him into what he
is today was his first two-wheeler bike.
Stan Lee and George Mair. Excelsior! The Amazing Life
of Stan Lee. 2002 (#5)
Some books enjoyed by Stan Lee were H.G.
Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle, Mark Twain,
and Edgar Rice Burroughs. (#6)
“Lee became editor of Marvel Comics (than
Timely Comics) shortly after his service in
World War II.”
Stan Lee and George Mair. Excelsior! The Amazing Life
of Stan Lee. 2002 (#7)
Stan worked many jobs, as soon as he was old enough,
before landing a job with Timely Comics, which
eventually would become known as Marvel Comics.
Some of his earlier jobs included writing obituaries,
delivering sandwiches in Rockefeller Center, being an
usher at the Rivoli Theatre on Broadway, joining the
WPA’s (Works Progress Administration) Theatre Project
created under the administration of FDR to help the
unemployed during the depression, an office boy for a
trouser manufacturer, and eventually a gofer for Martin
Goodman’s publishing company, Timely.
Stan Lee and George Mair. Excelsior! The Amazing Life
of Stan Lee. 2002 (#8)
Timely specialized in pulp magazines and
eventually comics as they became more
popular. Stan was given the chance to
write some things himself as the work load
increased for the other scriptwriters at
Timely. Stan Lee’s first comic book work
appeared in Captain America #3 in May,
1941. It was entitled “Traitor’s revenge.”
The rest is history.
Stan Lee and George Mair. Excelsior! The Amazing Life
of Stan Lee. 2002 (#9)
Stan’s big break in the comic book business
came when Joe Simon, the editor of
Timely, and Jack Kirby, the staff artist, left
the company in 1941. Martin Goodman
gave the job of editor to Stan. His career
in comics had begun and Stan never
looked back.
Stan Lee and George Mair. Excelsior! The Amazing
Life of Stan Lee. 2002 (#10)
In the winter of 1942, Stan Lee entered the Army.
He served in the Army’s Signal Corps’ Training
Division, in Astoria, Queens, New York. He
wrote instructional manuals and scripts for
training films to help train army personnel. One
of the films he scripted was called “The G.I.
Method of Organizing a Footlocker.” Another
famous director worked in the same division with
Stan, Frank Capra. Stan continued to submit
comic scripts to Timely Comics during his tour of
duty. After leaving the army in 1945, Stan
returned to Timely Comics as editor. (#11)
Comics that Stan Lee has written or co-written:
The Amazing Spider –Man (vol. 1) 1-100, 105-110, 116-118
The Avengers (vol. 1) 1-34
Captain America (vol. 1) 100-109, 112, 114-141
Daredevil (vol. 1) 1-9, 11-50, 53, 81
Fantastic Four (vol. 1) 1-115, 120-125, 154, 180, 189, 236, 296
Journey Into Mystery (vol. 1) 1, 3, 55, 62, 64, 71-79, 83-125
Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos (vol. 1) 1-28
The Silver Surfer (vol. 1) 1-18
Strange Tales (vol. 1) 1, 9, 11, 67, 73-74, 78-86, 88, 89, 91-95, 97, 98, 100-147,150-157, 174, 182-188
Tales to Astonish (vol. 1) 1, 6, 12, 13, 15-17, 24-33, 35-101
Tales of Suspense (vol. 1) 7, 9, 16, 22, 27, 29, 30, 39-99
The Mighty Thor (vol. 1) 126-194, 200, 254, 385, 432, 450
The X-Men (vol. 1) 1-21
Stan Lee and George Mair. Excelsior! The Amazing Life
of Stan Lee. 2002 (#12)
Stan Lee got his idea for Spider-Man from watching a fly on
the wall as he was typing. He approached Martin
Goodman with the idea in 1962, who was not very
enthusiastic about a teenage superhero who stuck to
walls. Stan pursued his idea and had Steve Ditko draw
the superhero. Spider-Man first appeared in Amazing
Fantasy #15. Copies of this comic book sell for up to
$20,000 in the collector’s market today.
Stan Lee and George Mair. Excelsior! The Amazing
Life of Stan Lee. 2002 (#13)
Stan Lee believes Spider-Man has been as successful as
he has because he is “an introspective hero, one who
thinks and talks to himself about problems and his life.”
People can relate to Spider-Man more because he is like
most of us, trying to deal with life’s problems (he has an
aunt who is elderly and sickly that he takes care of) and
at the same time trying to keep New York safe from all its
evil villains, like Dr. Octopus and the Green Goblin.
Stan Lee and George Mair. Excelsior! The Amazing
Life of Stan Lee. 2002 (#14)
“Besides his role as Marvel’s head writer, Stan was also editor-in-chief
and art director. In his position as Marvel’s creative head, Stan
never stopped looking for new, inventive ways to draw in readers.”
Some of his more creative ways to build the Marvel fan base were to
start several fan clubs and make Marvel readers feel like they were
part of the family (Merry Marvel Marching Society and FOOM or
Friends of ol’ Marvel), and responding to fan letters using unique
and friendly greetings and responding to the letters in a very
personal way. Stan understood that without the fans, there would be
no Spider-Man, Thor, or X-Men. (#15)
“Without question, Stan Lee has exerted more influence
over the comic book industry than anyone in history.
Among his many accomplishments, he created or cocreated 90 percent of Marvel's recognized characters,
which have been successfully licensed and marketed all
over the world. The numbers are staggering — it is
estimated that his name appears on more than 2 billion
comic books that have been published in 75 countries
and translated into 25 languages. In Europe, Stan Lee's
name appears on over 35 million comics annually and XMen alone, each year sells more than 13 million copies.” (#16)
“Through his unforgettable characterizations and time-honored writing,
Stan Lee’s imagination has spun a web that extends around our
planet. Through his many countless hours of writing, the creative
genius of Stan Lee, continues to pour forth those picturesque words
that spawn images of ordinary men and women who by misfortune
have gained superhuman abilities and although still plagued with
frailties, character flaws or deeply troubled, Stan Lee’s characters
somehow manage to overcome adversity, defeat the most gruesome
of foe and right the wrongs of the universe. It is through the deft of
Stan’s written words that he somehow caused his fantasies, (no
matter how out there) to become so realistic and believable that he
leaves us not only thoroughly entertained but inspired and instilled
with a sense of hope.” (#17)
“Born in New York in 1922, it was at the age of 17 that Lee began work
as an assistant editor for Timely Comics. Promoted to editor soon
thereafter, Lee remained with the company as it changed its name to
Atlas and fought slumping sales in the following years. At first simply
carrying on with the stories of the characters that had already been
created, the company got a fresh burst of creativity when, in 1961, it
changed its name from Atlas to Marvel Comics. Soon carrying
stories of emotionally complex and multi-dimensional characters
such as Spider-Man, The Hulk, and Daredevil, Lee's intelligent story
lines -- coupled with artist Jack Kirby's impressive images -- helped
Marvel's popularity surge during the '60s. Advancing to the position
of publisher and editorial director in 1972, it was during this decade
that such popular television series as The Incredible Hulk and The
Amazing Spider-Man truly came to life on the small screen.” (#18)
“Stan Lee's Marvel revolution extended beyond the
characters and storylines to the way in which comic
books engaged the readership and built a sense of
community between fans and creators. Lee
introduced the practice of including a credit panel on
the splash page of each story, naming not just the
writer and penciller but also the inker and letterer.
Regular news about Marvel staff members and
upcoming storylines was presented on the Bullpen
Bulletins page, which (like the letter columns that
appeared in each title) was written in a friendly,
chatty style.” (#19)
“Throughout the 1960s, Lee scripted, art-directed, and edited most
of Marvel's series; moderated the letters pages; wrote a
monthly column called "Stan's Soapbox"; and wrote endless
promotional copy, often signing off with his trademark phrase,
"Excelsior!" (which is also the New York state motto). To
maintain his taxing workload yet still meet deadlines, he used a
system that was used previously by various comic-book
studios, but due to Lee's success with it, is now known as the
"Marvel method" or "Marvel style" of comic-book creation.
Typically, Lee would brainstorm a story with the artist and then
prepare a brief synopsis rather than a full script. Based on the
synopsis, the artist would fill the allotted number of pages by
determining and drawing the panel-to-panel storytelling. After
the artist turned in penciled pages, Lee would write the word
balloons and captions, and then oversee the lettering and
colouring. In effect, the artists were co-plotters, whose
collaborative first drafts Lee built upon.” (#20)
“In 1971, Lee indirectly reformed the Comics Code. The US
Department of Health, Education and Welfare asked Lee to write a
story about the dangers of drugs and Lee wrote a story in which
Spider-Man's best friend becomes addicted to pills. The three-part
story was slated to be published in Amazing Spider-Man #96-98, but
the Comics Code Authority refused it because it depicted drug use;
the story context was considered irrelevant. With his publisher's
approval, Lee published the comics without the CCA seal. The comics
sold well and Marvel won praise for its socially conscious efforts. The
CCA subsequently loosened the Code to permit negative depictions of
drugs, among other new freedoms.
Lee also supported using comic books to provide some measure of
social commentary about the real world, often dealing with racism and
bigotry. "Stan's Soapbox," besides promoting an upcoming comic
book project, also addressed issues of discrimination, intolerance or
prejudice.” (#21)
• “In later years, Lee became a figurehead and public face for
Marvel Comics. He made appearances at comic book
conventions around America, lecturing at colleges and
participating in panel discussions. He moved to California in
1981 to develop Marvel's TV and movie properties. He has been
an executive producer for, and has made cameo appearances
in Marvel film adaptations and other movies.
• Lee befriended a former lawyer named Peter Paul, who
supervised the negotiation of a non-exclusive contract with
Marvel Comics for the first time in Lee's lifetime employment
with Marvel. This enabled Paul and Lee to start a new Internetbased superhero creation, production and marketing studio,
Stan Lee Media, in 1998. It grew to 165 people and went public,
but near the end of 2000, investigators discovered illegal stock
manipulation by Paul and corporate officer Stephan

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