Stan Lee: A Life Remembered

Stan Lee and his much beloved creation, The Amazing Spider Man. Courtesy of the AP

By Katarina Ivancik


On November 12, 2018 Stan Lee passed away at age 95, leaving behind 57 years of an incredible legacy. In 1961 Lee, along with co-creator and artist Jack Kirby, created the Fantastic Four which marked the beginning of the Marvel Universe.  

Born in 1922, Lee grew up poor living in a one bedroom apartment while his family was still reeling from the effects of the Great Depression.  His uncle Robbie Solomon helped him get a job as an office assistant at Timely Comics in 1939, which eventually became Marvel Comics in 1961. Once Marvel comics started taking off Lee was promoted to director and publisher in 1972. Before that he served in the American Army in World War II as a writer and illustrator.  His love and respect for America is embodied in one of his highly popular heroes, Captain America, the most patriotic super soldier to ever grace a comic book page. The Marvel Comics icon, Lee, was inducted into the Signal Corps Regimental Association in March 2017 — a moment he says trumps some of his top accomplishments.

During an interview with Fox News Network Lee said, “I want to tell [fans] if you’re looking, this is one of my proudest moments. Excelsior!” Lee said when he received a certificate of his lifetime membership and coin from the battalion. “Signal Corps forever.”

Of course his most beloved creation is the iconic friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. This superhero has been inspiring people of all ages since the fifteenth issue of the Amazing Fantasy comic series.  Peter Parker was one of the first young heroes who wasn’t pushed aside into the role of a side character or portrayed as an immature kid who needs a mentor.  He became a symbol for young people to take action no matter how young they are and to do the right thing when given the opportunity. His most famous quote coined by Stan Lee, “With great power comes great responsibility” continues to sent an important message to a world so tied up with politics and power.  

Lee has been showered with awards over the years including the National Medal of Arts, Saturn Awards, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Producers Guild of America, Hugo Award etc.  But one of his greatest accomplishments, which continues to make its mark on the 21st century, is the host of heroes known by millions as the Avengers.  The team has been made even more famous by the series of blockbuster movies and record breaking Marvel Cinematic Universe.

CNN Entertainment is quoted saying, “Films that Lee produced make up four of the top ten biggest films in box office history.”

His influence stretches across all ages and his presence in the world of heroes will be greatly missed.

Andrew Cunningham a senior mechanical engineering major has been a fan of Lee’s work since childhood, “The universe of characters Stan Lee created was an inspiration to me, both in my childhood and now. I, like so many others, couldn’t help but be enthralled by his stories of heroism, and every time I see or hear about any member of the Marvel Universe, I recall that childhood wonder which so perfectly characterized his comics.”

He said,  “His amazing tales did and will continue to be an incredible influence on young people around the world, and I doubt few will ever compare to the legacy he leaves behind. Excelsior.”

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