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Stan Lee

Writer / Editor

Born: 28 December 1922
Birthplace: New York, New York
Best known as: The co-creator of Spider-Man

Name at birth: Stanley Martin Lieber

Stan Lee is revered by comic book fans for creating Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, and other fresh comic superheroes of the 1960s. Stan Lee became editor of Marvel Comics (then called Timely Comics) shortly after his service in the U.S. Army during World War II. The company was overshadowed by rival D.C. Comics (home to Superman), but in the 1960s Lee made Marvel into a comics powerhouse by introducing conflicted, wisecracking superheroes who were as different from Superman as was Steve McQueen from Gary Cooper. Marvel Comics is often credited with revitalizing the superhero genre in general; the label's many creations before and during Lee's tenure included the Incredible Hulk, Daredevil, Doctor Strange, Captain America, and the melancholy Silver Surfer. Spider-Man, perhaps the most enduring of all Marvel characters, was created by Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko in 1962. In later years Marvel Comics became Marvel Entertainment Group and Lee expanded into movies, TV and the Internet with mixed success and some financial troubles. (His Stan Lee Media was a prominent dot-com flop.) Feature films based on Marvel characters include Spider-Man (2002, with Tobey Maguire, followed by two sequels; The X-Men (2000, followed by two sequels); and 2003's The Hulk (directed by Ang Lee, no relation to Stan).

Extra credit: Artist Jack Kirby collaborated on many of Stan Lee's signature creations... Marvel's character The Silver Surfer is a favorite of filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, who wrote a famous bit of dialogue about the Surfer for the 1995 film Crimson Tide.

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More on Stan Lee from Infoplease:

  • Stan Lee - Biography of Stan Lee, The co-creator of Spider-Man
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  • Spider-Man 3: The IMAX Experience - Starring Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace
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