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22+ Facts About The Life And Legacy Of Stan Lee

In 2018, we said goodbye to comic book pioneer and visionary Stan Lee. The history of Marvel Comics is impossible to discuss without enormous reverence to Lee's work, and we want to take a few minutes to explore some details of his life that might otherwise not get shared.

His official military title during World War 2 was "Playwright."

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According to Lee, he was one of only nine people given that title in the Army. The tasks he was responsible for included writing manuals, training films, slogans, and cartooning.

In 1976, he starred in a now-lost razor commercial.

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Lee's mustache has been an iconic part of his image for years. No wonder Personna wanted the rock star comic creator as the face of their product.

While working as an usher, Lee once seated First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

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According to his Instagram, the 16-year-old Lee understood how important the moment was. And in his efforts to look as proper as possible, he tripped and fell right on his face.

Lee's likeness and characters have appeared in over 2 billion comic books.

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We knew that Stan The Man's work was prolific, but the 2 billion copies claimed on his Instagram is truly a staggering number.

The Avengers were created because of deadline issues.

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According to a senior Marvel official, the first issue of Daredevil was due to hit shelves in September 1963, but when it fell behind schedule, the company decided to throw a bunch of existing heroes together, and thus the Avengers were born.

He calls his 1980 visit to the White House one of the scariest moments of his life.

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Lee tells the story of visiting the White House in October 1980, when the actor who played the Green Goblin decided to stay in character and scared the living daylights out of First Daughter Amy Carter. Lee recalls shouting at the actor to stop, warning that the Secret Service would shoot him. Thankfully, it didn't get that far.

A famous actor was present at that same White House visit.

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At the end of the post, Lee challenged people to name the Star Trek actor who appeared as Captain America. It didn't take long for internet sleuths to figure out it was Jonathan Frakes.

Lee's Marvel cameos aren't isolated to just movies and comic books.

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Recently, Lee made an appearance in the incredibly popular Spider-Man video game for the PS4.

In 1975, Lee narrated an in-character rock opera album about Spider-Man.

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Lee's voice is all over the album, with narration injected in between pretty much every song.

He cites The Scarlet Pimpernel as his earliest inspiration for superheroes.


The novel and movie adaptations tell the story of Sir Percy Blakeney, a chivalrous Englishman who has a secret, more heroic identity, which spoke to Lee.

Lee would intentionally include advanced words in his books in order to encourage readers to look them up and learn.

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He firmly believed that comic books were literature, just like any other books, and never felt that he needed to write for just a child audience.

Lee's comic book writing debut was also the first time that Captain America threw his shield.

While Lee is sometimes incorrectly credited with creating Captain America, he did invent Cap's most signature move.

His all-time favorite movie was 1938's "The Adventures of Robin Hood."

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Four years ago, he had the opportunity to pose for an Arclight Cinemas promotion, copying Errol Flynn's iconic take on the English legend.

Lee contributed to the very first "Star Wars" comic book.

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Marvel got in on the Star Wars comic game early, actually releasing their first edition before the movie hit theaters. The issue has a special introduction written by Stan Lee.

Stan Lee wrote the lyrics to '80s cartoon "Defenders of the Earth."

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The show featured a team-up of The Phantom, Flash Gordon, Mandrake, and his assistant Lothar, along with their kids, defending the Earth from Flash Gordon villain Ming the Merciless.

Lee proposed to his wife, Joan Boocock, after they'd been dating for just two weeks.

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Joan was a hat model from New York, and according to The Hollywood Reporter, she rushed to Nevada to get a quick divorce from her first husband and immediately married Lee in the room next door.

He's the first ever recipient of IMDb's STARmeter Award for Lifetime Achievement.

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IMDb has been passing out the awards since 2013, but so far Lee is the only Lifetime Achievement recipient.

Lee served in the same unit as Doctor Seuss in World War II.

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Along with Lee and Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss), the Training Film Division also included playwright William Saroyan and Ivan Goff & Ben Roberts, who wrote the movie White Heat.

His early writing career included writing obituaries.

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Still in high school, and knowing he wanted to be a writer, he would write obituaries as well as press releases for the National Tuberculosis Center.

His first job in comics was filling inkwells.

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Some other jobs he did in his early days at Timely Comics included getting food, proofreading, and erasing pencilwork.

Born "Stan Lieber," he originally put the name "Lee" on comics to save his name for more serious literary pursuits.

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Eventually, he would embrace the name and even change his legal name once he had a change of heart about the legitimacy of comics.

He became the editor of Timely Comics at just 19 years old.

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When editor Joe Simon and partner Jack Kirby left the company in 1941, Lee was the next in line for the job.

He's credited with introducing the concept of proper credits on a comic's splash page.

Comic Book Historians

Lee wanted to make sure that everyone, including the inker and letterer, got credit for their work.

He was briefly the President of Marvel Comics.

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But he actually stepped down from the role because he preferred to focus on the creative aspects of comics instead of the business side.

An anti-drug story ended up changing the Comics Code.

Marvel Database

The U. S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare asked Lee to write an anti-drug story, but because of the Comics Code Associations' strict policies, even referencing drugs in a negative light meant the story couldn't get CCA approval. Lee published the story anyway, and policies were loosened thereafter.

He used his platform to talk about social justice, not just comics.

In his editorial section, "Stan's Soapbox," Lee would talk about issues like discrimination and racism, encouraging tolerance from his readers.

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