Kristen Dragotto, Staff Writer

The well-known icon Stan Lee died Nov. 12 at the age of 95 in Los Angeles, California. In the past few years Lee suffered from several health problems, and in 2012 he had a pacemaker installed. His death was a result of a yearlong battle with aspiration pneumonia. Lee died at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and was laid to rest Nov. 16, just four days after his death, in a private ceremony hosted by his family.

While Stan Lee is a name known globally, he was born as Stanley Martin Lieber Dec. 28, 1922, in New York City. Lee came from a Jewish-Hungarian immigrant family and was the firstborn son. He proved his talent and ambition when he graduated from his high school in the Bronx at the age of 16. His determination afterward led to his successful career.

Shortly after his high school graduation, he landed his first job, the one that would later make him a legend, working as an assistant at Timely Comics. It was there that Lieber was first published and chose to go by the pseudonym Stan Lee. Lee made advancements in Timely Comics during that first year of publication, becoming the interim editor.

During WWII he was called to duty and served in the Army Signal Corps. He returned to Timely Comics as editor after his service ended. Upon his return, Lee widened the scope of his writing, tackling many different genres. During this time, he married his wife of 70 years, Joan Boocock, and later welcomed his two daughters, Joan Celia and Jan, into the world.

The creation and debut of the Fantastic Four in the early 1960s made Stan Lee a household name. The Fantastic Four was the first of many comic book franchises that Lee helped create. He later helped create many of the fan favorite superheroes of today, including Spider-Man, Thor and Iron Man. What made his work so iconic was despite the unrealistic situations and plotlines, the heroes were relatable due to their realistic and believable flaws.

Timely Comics evolved into Marvel Comics with the release of the Fantastic Four Comics. In 1972, Lee became the new publisher of Marvel Comics. Despite a few setbacks in the late 1990s, he proved to be extremely successful in his career. Many of Lee’s comic book heroes were later brought to the big screen and became more popular than ever before. Stan Lee even made 57 appearances in the Marvel movies that fans grew up watching. Fans will forever treasure those scenes.

Lee defines the story of what it means to live the American dream. He worked his way up from an assistant to president of the company that he helped grow into a household name. His legacy will live on not only through the stories he created, but through the lives he touched. Stan Lee left a piece of himself in each story he created and fans will cherish those forever.