Stan Lee, the cultural icon responsible for many of Marvel’s most popular superheroes in comic books and movies, has died at the age of 95, an attorney for the Lee family told the Associated Press.
Lee was declared dead Monday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, according to Kirk Schenck, an attorney for Lee’s daughter, J.C. Lee.
Born Stanley Martin Lieber, the New York City native co-created Spider-Man, Hulk, the Avengers, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Black Panther, Daredevil, Doctor Strange and a host more heroes while working as a writer and then editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics in the 1960s.
From the 1970s (when he became publisher) until the ’90s, Lee was the face of Marvel and a frequent staple at comic and pop-culture conventions, entertaining fans and “true believers” with his stories and signature catchphrase “Excelsior!” He created his own POW! Entertainment in 2001 to develop film, TV and comic properties, but always stayed connected to his original superhero roots as geek culture rose in Hollywood.
While Lee’s infectious enthusiasm for his heroes – and his devotees – lasted late into a legendary life, recent years were marked by ill health and legal wrangling involving those closest to him. Following the death of his wife of 69 years, Joan, in 2017, Lee was hospitalized in February 2018 for an irregular heartbeat and shortness of breath, and also struggled with pneumonia. In March of that year, Lee reported $1.4 million stolen from his bank account, and in April he sued former business manager Jerardo Olivarez for fraud and elder abuse and then a month later filed a $1 billion fraud suit against POW!.
In addition, Lee denied signing a document in April 2018 stating that daughter J.C. Lee and friend/business manager Keya Morgan were trying to gain control of his assets and property, though Morgan was revealed to have a restraining order on him during the Los Angeles police’s investigations of elder abuse against Lee.
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