Stan Lee, the beloved artist and storyteller who gave the world Spider-Man, Black Panther, the Hulk and countless more iconic comic book characters, has died, multiple outlets confirm. He was 95.
Lee was reportedly rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center early Monday morning, where he passed away.
Born in 1922 in New York City, Lee was just 19 years old when prominent comic book artist Jack Kirby took notice of his talent. Together, the two launched Marvel Comics in 1961.
As the Marvel Universe expanded, so too did Lee's role in its creative and business operations. After serving as the company's editor-in-chief, publisher and chairman, he eventually stepped away from the day-to-day operations to become its chairman emeritus.
Fans took particular joy in seeing Lee pop up in each and every Marvel movie. He's been a hot dog vendor ("X-Men"), a librarian ("The Amazing Spider-Man"), a dog-walker ("Venom"), and sometimes just his sweet self. (In the upcoming "Deadpool" sequel a now-elderly Lee compliments Ryan Reynolds' superhero outfit, to which Reynolds responds, "Zip it, Stan Lee!")
Earlier this year, Lee joined Twitter, where he excitedly posted videos for his fans.
"Hi, heroes. This is Stan, and I'm really just making this little Twitter piece because I want you to know how much I appreciate all the messages you've been sending," Lee says in his first video posted in May 2018. "That's the reason I have to wear eyeglasses now -- I'm going blind reading them all, but it's well worth it."
Thanks to my friend @Jack who created Twitter, I am only on Twitter. No other social media. The rest like Facebook are hacked and people impersonating me. But I love Twitter. pic.twitter.com/zCZ0Pa4hxY
— Stan Lee (@TheRealStanLee) May 27, 2018
Shane Duffy, CEO of Lee’s POW! Entertainment, released a statement: "His passing today marks a devastating and painful moment in time, but the legacy of Stan Lee, through his creative genius and his universes of characters, will continue to reach the world of true believers for generations to come."
Lee and his wife, Joan, wed in 1947 and raised two children in New York City. After 69 years of marriage, Joan passed away in 2017 at 95 years old.
It feels fitting to use Lee's favorite sign-off: Excelsior.