Stan Lee, who dreamed up Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Hulk and other Marvel Comics superheroes has died at the age of 95.
“He felt an obligation to his fans to keep creating,” J.C. Lee, his daughter, said in a statement on Monday night.
“He loved his life and he loved what he did for a living. His family loved him and his fans loved him. He was irreplaceable.”
She did not mention Lee’s cause of death.
Lee is widely credited with adding a new layer of complexity and humanity to superheroes.
In collaboration with artists like Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, he created superhero characters.
Americans were familiar with superheroes before Lee, thanks to the 1938 launch of Superman by Detective Comics, the company that would become DC Comics, Marvel’s archrival.
His creations included web-slinging teenager Spider-Man, the muscle-bound Hulk, The X-Men, Fantastic Four and the playboy-inventor Tony Stark, better known as Iron Man.
Marvel Comic movies, with nearly all the major characters he created grossed over $20 billion dollars worldwide, according to box office analysts.
As a hired hand at Marvel, Lee received a limited payback on the windfall from his characters.
In a 1998 contract, he wrestled a clause for 10 per cent of profits from movies and TV shows with Marvel characters.
In 2002, he sued to claim his share, months after ‘Spider-Man’ conquered movie theaters. In a legal settlement three years later, he received a 10 million dollars one-time payment.
“I don’t have 200 million dollars. I don’t have 150 million dollars. I don’t have 100 million dollars or anywhere near that,” Lee told Playboy magazine in 2014 on his assumed millionaire status.
“Having grown up in the Great Depression, I happy enough to get a nice paycheck and be treated well.”
In 2008, Lee was awarded the National Medal of Arts, the highest government award for creative artists.
Lee was born as Stanley Martin Lieber in New York on December 28, 1922, and became an errand boy at Timely Comics, the company that would evolve into Marvel, at age 17.
He married an actress, Joan Lee, in 1947 and she passed on in 2017.
The couple had two children, Joan Celia born in 1950 and Jan Lee who died within three days of her birth in 1953.
Lee made cameos in most Marvel films, pulling a girl away from falling debris in 2002’s “Spider-Man” and serving as an emcee at a strip club in 2016’s “Deadpool.”
The Walt Disney Co bought Marvel Entertainment in 2009 for $4 billion in a deal to expand Disney’s roster of characters, with the most iconic ones having been Lee’s handiwork.
By that point, Lee had all but parted ways with Marvel after being made a chairman emeritus of the company.