Longtime cartoonist Stan Lee (born December 28, 1922) is this week’s #RespectYourElders feature.
Since the 1950s, he has created many of America’s most beloved superheroes for Marvel Comics, including Spider-Man and the X-Men. He is one of the most influential comic book writers in comic book history and American popular culture.
Born Stanley Martin Lieber in New York City, Lee started working at an early age to support his working class parents. Right after his high school graduation, he began working at Timely Comics as an assistant. By the age of 19 he had already worked his way up to become interim editor. It was during this time that he adopted his famous pen name.
Today, Lee’s works are household names. The recent resurgence of superhero franchises are partly due to Lee’s effort to share them with a wider audience. He was also a major player in Marvel’s rise into a multimedia powerhouse and its subsequent merger with Disney. Thanks to him, audiences of all ages and backgrounds can easily enjoy the joys of comic books and superheroes. He frequently appears in cameos in popular Marvel films and television shows to this day.
Photo by Gage Skidmore. (Stan Lee Uploaded by maybeMaybeMaybe) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], licensed via Wikimedia Commons.