Though he passed away in November 2018, Stan Lee remains one of the most influential comic book writer, actor, and entrepreneur. Most people know the star for his popular comic characters like “The Hulk”, “Spiderman,” and “Iron man”. Lee was also the head of Marvel Comic and a co-creator of many iconic comic characters.
In 1994, Stan Lee was instated into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame for his contributions to the entertainment industry.
Early Life and Schooling
Born on 28th December 1922, Stan Lee is a son to Jewish immigrants, Celia and Jack Lieber. The celebrity was born in a Manhattan apartment. Lee has a young brother, Larry Lieber. By the time he was a teen, they were living in a one-bedroom apartment, and they shared the bedroom with his brother Lieber.
His parents used to sleep on a fold-out sofa in the room. Growing up as a kid, Lee recounts that his main inspiration came from reading books and watching movies, especially the Errol Flynn heroic characters.
He attended DeWitt Clinton High School, where he enjoyed writing. He dreamt of writing the “Great American Novel” one day. The Great American novel was a fiction novel of high literacy that would tell the culture of the US at a time in history. The passion for writing the book made him join Marvel comics during the 1960s where he was an editor.
At the time, Marvel Comics was known to as Timely Comics, and it is through the help of his Uncle Robbie Solomon that he got a job at the company. Through his hard work and passion, he rose the ranks to become Marvel President and Chairman. At his time in Marvel company, he catapulted the company from a small publishing house to a million dollars’ multimedia corporation.
Stan Lee also used to do part-time jobs such as writing obituaries and press releases. He also used to deliver sandwiches for the Jack May pharmacy, an usher at Ravioli theatre on Broadway, office bot for trousers’ manufacturer, and a seller for subscriptions of the New York Herald Tribune newspaper. In 1939, Lee completed his high school studies at aged 16.
In the 1960s period, Lee and Jack Kirby created the Hulk, Fantastic Four, Doctor Strange, Spider-man, X-Men, and the Daredevil. They also created Thor, Silver Surfer, and Captain America, among other popular comic characters. Lee became a publisher and editor for Marvel in the 1970s. In the early 1980’s he developed Marvel’s media brand, that is, after moving to California.
As a producer, he is credited with many Marvel shows that have gained worldwide attention. They include Captain America (1990), Fantastic Four (1994-1995), Iron Man (1994-1996), X-Men (1992-1997), Spider-Man (1994-1198), Incredible Hulk (1996-1997), Nick Fury’s Agent of Shield (1998) and The Blade (1998). He Also Produced Generation X (1996), Biker Mice from Mars (1993-1996) And Silver Surfer (1998).
However, contrary to many expectations, Stan Lee does not own the right to these characters. Therefore, he doesn’t own much as we think. In one of his interviews, Lee says that he was always a Marvel employee and writer for hire. Marvel owns the rights to the characters.
Stan Lee Net Worth
Despite not owning the rights to the popular comic characters he creates for Marvel, Stan Lee is one of the wealthiest comic writers in America. At the time of his death in 2018, Stan Lee’s net worth was $50 million.
The significant contribution to his high net worth is the salary from Marvel corporation. His high salary is due to the immense revenue that the superhero characters generated to the Marvel Company. Movies involving superhero characters alone have generated more than $25 billion in the global box office.
In 2002, the star sued Marvel company in what he termed as a 10% cut off the profits of his films and shows. The judge sided with Lee, but later, Marvel and Lee agreed to settle the disagreement with $10million.
In 2009, Walt Disney Company acquired the Marvel company for $4 billion. Though the sale had no significant impacts on Lee’s revenue, the Disney company agreed to continue paying the star $1 million annual salaries.
Stan Lee also has other assets, such as a home in one of the most expensive LA locations. His neighbors are Dr. Dre and Leonardo Di Caprio. The property’s value is high and can quickly sell for $20 million. Recently, a neighbor of Lee sold a similar house though mode modest at $29 billion.
In a 2014 Playboy Interview, he was asked of the financial benefit he had gained from Marvel over the years and after Disney bought Marvel. He replied, “I don’t have 200 million. I don’t have $150 million. I don’t have $100 million. I don’t have 100 million or anywhere near that.”
When asked if it was fair considering that George Lucas’ worth was $7.3 billion, lee said, “George Lucas did it all by himself. He came up with the ideas and produced the movies. He wrote and directed them and held the rights to the merchandising. It was all his. In my case, I worked for the publisher. If the books didn’t sell, the publisher went broke- and a lot of publishers did go broke”.
Stan Lee’s awards and achievements
During his more than five decades’ activeness in the industry, Lee’s efforts did not go unappreciated. In 1994 the star was inducted to the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame, in 1995 he was also inducted to the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame. Other awards include:
– Saturn award in 2002
– National medal of arts in 2008
– Hollywood Walk of Fame Star in 2011
– Scream Guild Award in 2009
– Visual Effects Society award
– Producers Guild of America Award in 2012
Stan Lee is also active in charity works. In 2010, he founded the Stan Lee foundation that focuses on education, arts, and literacy.
Stan Lee has been an iconic movie in the superhero comic. Even though he died about a year ago, his contributions and role in the industry will always remain.