NATIONWIDE -- Stan Lee, the former editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, has died at the age of 95.
- Stan Lee, patriarch of Marvel Comics universe, dies at 95
- He was more recently known for making cameos in Marvel films
- Lee had been in declining health in recent years
- TRIBUTES: Celebrities honor Stan Lee ▼
Lee died Sunday night Pacific time at a Cedar-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, an attorney for Lee's daughter told CNN. He had battled multiple illnesses in the past year, including pneumonia and vision problems.
Getting his start as a editorial assistant, Lee would go on to create or co-create some of the most iconic superheroes such as Iron Man, Thor, the X-Men, Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Black Panther and more.
Lee also appeared in several Marvel movies and TV shows in cameo roles, including "Captain America: The First Avenger," "The Avengers," "Guardians of the Galaxy," and "Black Panther."
A superhero in his own right
Fellow creators in talking about Lee and his influence on the industry and pop culture spoke to his ability to connect with readers and fans in a meaningful and memorable way.
"I think Stan was really the first person to break down the barrier between creators and the readership side, and really build a really cool, kind of lasting connection through meeting people, conventions, the clubs he started at Marvel, letters responses he gave," said comics writer and writing professor Stephanie Phillips. "I mean, Stan was just a superhero in his own right."
In the Bay area Lee made his presence especially felt last year, when he helped organize a fundraiser at MegaCon Tampa Bay to help victims of Hurricane Irma. But at Pinellas Park's Emerald City Comics, Lee was a name long before the storm hit.
"Everybody loved him," said Darryl Blaker, the store's director of marketing. "He was a good person and a great person to aspire to be — very creative, very influential, and we may never see anyone like him again soon."
In 2017, Lee was presented with a Disney Legends award during the D23 Expo in California. It was his first public appearance following the death of his wife, Joan, who had died a week prior.
Celebrity, fan tributes
Tributes from celebrities and fans poured in upon the news of Lee's death.
"Stan Lee was as extraordinary as the characters he created," said Bob Iger, The Walt Disney Company CEO, in a statement. "A super hero in his own right to Marvel fans around the world, Stan had the power to inspire, to entertain, and to connect. The scale of his imagination was only exceeded by the size of his heart."
Hugh Jackman, who played X-Men's Wolverine, also paid tribute.
"We've lost a creative genius," Jackman tweeted. "Stan Lee was a pioneering force in the superhero universe. I'm proud to have been a small part of his legacy and...to have helped bring one of his characters to life."
Chris Evans, who played Captain America, tweeted: "There will never be another Stan Lee. For decades he provided both young and old with adventure, escape, comfort, confidence, inspiration, strength, friendship and joy. He exuded love and kindness and will leave an indelible mark on so, so, so many lives. Excelsior!!"