Legendary comic mogul, editor and publisher Stan Lee , who helped create emblematic superheroes such as Spiderman and The Hulk, died in Los Angeles on Monday, the celebrity media outlet TMZ reported. He was 95.
"My father loved all of his fans. He was the greatest, most decent man," daughter Joan Celia Lee told TMZ.
Initial reports said that Lee, born in New York in 1922, was transported early Monday morning from his home in Hollywood Hills to a Los Angeles hospital, where he died.
A giant among US comic strip creators and an icon of popular culture over the last 50 years with Marvel Comics, Lee also created famous comic characters such as The Fantastic Four, Iron Man, The X-Men and Daredevil and dozens more.
The author had suffered from numerous health problems in recent years and in 2017 lost his wife, Joan Lee, after almost 70 years of marriage.
The wildly successful film adaptations of Marvel superheroes, in which Lee always made small but funny cameo appearances, had served to once again focus media attention on him.
Lee had his first big success, along with Jack Kirby, with The Fantastic Four in 1961, when the pair turned the comic books superhero genre on its head - exchanging the standard model of moralistic do-gooders for characters with significant depth and even emotional problems and difficulties getting along with one another.
"I changed the whole line around," he said. "New ways of (characters) talking, hangups, introspection and brooding."
But despite the ever-growing success and popularity of the dozens of characters he created or co-created, Lee always maintained a humble and down-to-earth attitude about his iconic status, saying "I'm just a guy who wrote comic books," adding that he just tried to create entertaining characters and story-lines that people wanted to read about.