By Jonathan Kandell and Andy Webster
Stan Lee — who as chief writer and editor of Marvel Comics helped create some of the most enduring superheroes of the 20th century, was a major force behind the breakout successes of the comic-book industry in the 1960s and early ’70s, and oversaw his company’s emergence as an international media behemoth — has died in Los Angeles. He was 95.
He was declared dead on Monday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, according to Kirk Schenck, a lawyer for Mr. Lee’s daughter J. C. Lee, The Associated Press reported.
Mr. Lee was for many the embodiment of Marvel, if not comic books in general. A writer, editor, publisher, Hollywood executive and tireless promoter (of Marvel and of himself), he played a critical role in what comics fans call the medium’s silver age.
Many believe that Marvel, under his leadership and infused with his colorful voice, crystallized that era, one of exploding sales, increasingly complex characters and stories, and growing cultural legitimacy for the medium. (Marvel’s chief competitor at the time, National Periodical Publications, now known as DC — the home of Superman and Batman, among countless other characters — augured the silver age, but did not define it, with its 1956 update of its superhero the Flash.)