Stan's Bio...



THE EARLY DAYS

It was on December 28, 1922 at Ninety-Eighth Street and West End Avenue in New York City, that a child was born named Stanley Martin Lieber. That male child, born to proud and impoverished parents Jack and Celia Lieber, both Romanian immigrants, has gone on to impact the cultural lives of an entire planet. This family’s trials and tribulations in coming to America and raising their children through the Great Depression has truly been of great consequence. No matter how insignificant their efforts and hard work may have seemed at the time, they contributed to the development of a young boy, their son, who was able to grow up unhindered by suppressive constraints. Their loving, supportive upbringing was pivotal in the unbridling of Stanley’s imaginative and creative wizardry that has helped soften the harsh realities of life for generations of readers.

Young Stanley was blessed with a mother who encouraged his reading and never thwarted her young son’s dreams and fantasies. Stanley’s father instilled in him a work ethic and from those early days Stanley formed the foundation that led to his ability to produce the volumes of inspirational and creative works that has impacted so many people throughout the world.

As a young boy, Stanley grew up during the Great Depression, as it manifested itself in New York City. A very young Stan Lee and his bike. However, he also lived in his own world of make-believe into which he retreated in spite of all the outside influences. His bike which was also his best friend may have seemed—by observation of others—to be just a bike, but not to Stanley. Oh No! To him it was a space ship he commanded or a noble steed upon which he was transformed into a mighty knight. Stanley loved that bike, as it gave him a feeling of freedom not only to traverse the back streets of New York but to let his imagination go wild. While these types of imaginary adventures, for many of us were part and parcel of our childhood, for Stanley those fantasies somehow never faded away as adulthood set in and tried to substitute a more prosaic form of reality. Stanley drew from his youthful fantasies and, as an adult, went on to develop some of the most inspirational characters and stories the world has come to know. Somehow, even today, he has never lost his uninhibited imagination, wherein anything is possible, as long as one can imagine it and take the steps to enter that world of imagery. Stanley not only has maintained this state for himself, but he has—through his creative writings and artistry—rekindled the imaginative and magical worlds of make believe that exist within all of us.

The adult who had the most influence on young Stanley in his early years at school was his favorite teacher, Leon B. Ginsberg. Mr. Ginsberg helped Stanley to realize that learning could be fun and that it was easier to communicate and get his point across to others by making the subject entertaining and by the use of humor. Stanley never forgot the lessons learned from that teacher and thereafter applied them to everything he did. {Note: Mr. Ginsberg, we hope you realize just how much your efforts as a teacher impacted this planet. Just one of your students— and there might have been others— was so inspired and influenced by your teachings that he passed on your mantra of lightheartedness by always adding an element of humor to his life and aesthetic endeavors)

Stanley was nine years old when his brother and only sibling Larry was born. Errol Flynn in "Captain Blood" Larry Lieber himself would later become a well-known writer and artist. It was at this time of his life, while Stanley’s parents were busy with their new infant son, that Stanley discovered the magical and wonderful world of motion pictures. His upper Manhattan hangout soon became 181st Street where within three blocks of each other, five theatres dazzled his mind with big screen epics that featured the likes of Errol Flynn, Charlie Chan and Roy Rogers. Stanley later commented that going to the movies was one of the greatest events imaginable and that he was in heaven as he watched classic stories like Sherlock Holmes and Moby Dick. At any of those theatres could Stanley ever have imagined that one day he would create the story lines and characters for some of the greatest motion pictures of all time?

At the age of 15, Stanley decided to enter “The Biggest News of the Week Contest” put on by one of New York’s largest newspapers, the Harold Tribune. The editor sent him a letter suggesting that he should consider becoming a professional writer. This encouraging letter helped spark a never ending flurry of words that even today are still flowing from this prolific writer’s infinite imagination. The encouragement that editor gave a young boy helped motivate him into becoming one of the world’s most acclaimed storytellers. It is worthy of note that Stanley too has often taken the time to encourage other young writers as that editor, so long ago, had encouraged him.

During the next few years, while still in high school, Stanley worked several jobs including writing obituaries for a news service and ad copy for a hospital. However, he nevertheless aspired to greater heights and, after graduating from De Witt Clinton High School, eventually landed a job at Timely, a publishing company that was owned by a distant relative of his named Martin Goodman. Still in his teens, Stanley Lieber made one of the most significant career moves of his life as Timely was the precursor to what later evolved into Marvel Comics.

When Stanley began at Timely there were only Stan Lee's 1st Published Writing a handful of people in the comics department and his job description could have been summed up as “general gofer”. The comic book department at that time consisted of editor Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, the staff artist. As deadlines and company expansion overloaded Joe Simon and Jack Kirby with more work than they could handle, Stanley soon got his first break, a chance to write a two-page text piece entitled “The Traitor’s Revenge”. It was Stanley’s first published story, appearing in Captain America #3 which was dated May 1941. His first actual comic book script came shortly thereafter in Captain America #5 dated August 1941 which was titled “Headline Hunter, Foreign Correspondent.” He was barely out of high school and was now a full-fledged published author.

Stanley began writing under various pen names, S.T. Anley, Stan Martin, Neel Nats and Stan Lee. It was the name Stan Lee that soon dominated the credits of so many publications that he eventually gave up the others. In fact, he became so well known a writer under the pen name of Stan Lee that he later legally changed his name from Stanley Martin Lieber to the now universally known Stan Lee.

This biography section although brief has purposely emphasized Stan Lee’s foundational younger years with the intent to show how certain events in his youth formed the patterns and basic personality traits that set in motion perhaps the most published writer of his time—or possibly of any time.

Starting with those early days, Stan Lee has never stopped writing and his creative force eventually catapulted Marvel Comics to the top of the industry and resulted in Marvel becoming the corporate giant that it is today.

Stan Lee’s tenure with Marvel Comics extends over six decades and aside from his countless creations, Stan Lee has held the titles of Marvel’s Head Writer, Art Director, Editor-in-Chief, Publisher, President and Chairman. Currently Stan Lee is Chairman Emeritus of Marvel and is Executive Producer of their current films.

Marvel Comics Stan Lee’s driving creative force initiated Timely’s name change to Marvel Comics to represent the company’s new image as a whole new breed of Stan Lee characters began to emerge. In 1961 Martin Goodman began to lift his constraints over Stan Lee’s creativity and what ensued was a cast of characters and storylines that changed the world of narrative storytelling.



THE START OF “THE MARVEL AGE OF COMICS”

In November of 1961— Stan Lee now unleashed— wrote issue #1 of the Fantastic Four and what followed was revolutionary in the industry. The traditional overly simplistic characterizations and plots evolved with the Fantastic Four into complex personalities and character-driven stories.

Stan Lee regarded Jack Kirby as one of the greatest visual storytellers of all time. Jack Kirby was the perfect match to illustrate the Fantastic Four, Stan Lee’s newly created characters that broke the mold of the stereotypical superheroes. The Fantastic Four had human frailties, complex personalities and they didn’t always get along with each other. They were, as Stan Lee daringly called them, “The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine.” It was with the Fantastic Four that Stan Lee changed the entire superhero genre, skyrocketing the popularity of this new all-American art form. Sales soared and Marvel began to come of age.

Stan Lee, unchained, next went on to create the Hulk, who enjoyed an initial smashing metamorphosing success. Stan Lee’s creativity was in full bloom now and he marched Marvel on with yet another of his creations—Spider-Man.

Spider-Man's first appearance - Amazing Fantasy, Aug. 1962 Stan Lee chose Steve Ditko to illustrate his new web slinging character and as Stan Lee’s words conveyed the drama of his entirely new type of super-hero, Steve Ditko’s artistry masterfully brought Spider-Man to life. Even then, Stan Lee could not have predicted the monumental success that Spider-Man would bring to Marvel Comics. This was the start of Stan Lee’s “Marvel Age of Comics.” Spider-Man first went to print on a trial basis in the last issue of Amazing Fantasy in August of 1962. It took until March of 1963 before Marvel officially published Spider-Man as a regular feature. That year Marvel Comics exploded and sales of Marvel’s new gallery of superheroes almost doubled. Since that time, Spider-Man has gone on to become one of the most successful characters in comic book history and when Spider-Man graced the big screens of the motion picture industry, Spidey broke all time box office records.

It is noteworthy to mention at this time, that although Stan Lee is renowned for all the lead characters he created, Stan “the Man” Lee also dreamed up hundreds of supporting characters, along with the many, many colorful villains we love to hate.

The Uncanny X-Men, Issue No. 1, Sep. 1963 How do you top the top of the industry? Well, Stan Lee— the production machine that he is— was on a roll and he once again turned to Jack Kirby to illustrate an entirely new set of Superheroes which Stan Lee had dreamed up, a group of mutants that become known as the X-Men. So Stan Lee, together with Jack Kirby’s magnificent and artistic delineations of each character, published The Uncanny X-Men issue #1. The X-Men series today is the best-selling group of comic books in the world.

In the months that followed, Stan Lee, as Marvel’s head writer, editor, art director and top creative force, gifted the world with character after character, dazzling the reading public with the Avengers, Thor, Iron Man, Daredevil, Silver Surfer, S.H.I.E.L.D., Dr. Strange and hosts of other characters and stories that are too numerous to list in this short biography.

Stan Lee started to be referred to as “Mr. Marvel” and became one of the most sought after speakers on college campuses throughout the U.S.A. and later the world. An article in Esquire magazine quoted students on campus as saying “We think of Stan Lee as today’s Homer.” Stan Lee has spoken in Japan, Italy, Canada, Germany, Poland, Spain, Denmark, France, Portugal, China, Mexico and at virtually every college and university in the United States, plus countless conventions and corporate events.

When Martin Goodman sold Marvel to Cadence Industries, the new management would not go through with the purchase unless Stan Lee came with the deal. Cadence management realized that it was Stan Lee’s amazing creativity, his rapport with his audience and his genius for promotion that had turned Marvel’s characters into pure gold, thus they made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. Stan Lee, who had always worked under a handshake agreement, for the first time was given an official contract with Marvel.

Stan Lee today Artists, writers, owners and management came and went throughout the years at Marvel but there was one force that remained constant and that was the creative force of Stan Lee. Even Jack Kirby left and went on to illustrate for DC Comics. Stan Lee later reunited with Jack Kirby on a project that Stan Lee had wanted to do for years, a novel-length version of Silver Surfer, one of Stan Lee’s favorite characters. Stan Lee also branched out by creating and writing a syndicated Spider-Man newspaper comicstrip that started in 1977, appearing in newspapers around the world. As with everything Stan Lee does, the strip soon became the most popular, most successful and now the longest running strip featuring a superhero. Stan Lee still writes it today while his artist brother, Larry Lieber, does the penciling for the dailies.

With Marvel running smoothly and profitably, the Stan Lee family moved out to the west coast and Stan Lee headed up Marvel Productions in Hollywood. Establishing Marvel’s presence in the film and television industry, he became the head of operations for Marvel’s newly organized Marvel Films. Stan Lee set in place the foundation that eventually took his superheroes to the Big Screen. As with every other creative endeavor Stan Lee has done, his creations have exploded to the top of the motion picture industry. Stan Lee is now regarded as one of Hollywood’s most distinguished icons, since films based on his creations have broken all time box office records.

As Marvel began establishing its presence on the big screen, control and management changed again at Marvel and Stan Lee negotiated the right to go out on his own, while still maintaining his connection with Marvel as “Chairman Emeritus”. He is also executive producer of the many films that he helped set in place while at Marvel.

Today, Stan Lee has moved on to form his own company, POW! Entertainment Inc. POW is an acronym, as you may already know, Stan Lee and Gill Champion's POW! Entertainment, Inc. (POWN) that stands for “Purveyors of Wonder.” POW! Entertainment Inc. already has some 40 movie, TV, DVD, video game and other projects in various stages of development and, since Stan Lee has always batted 1,000, we feel that the best of Stan Lee is yet to come. His new company has taken off with so much momentum that he recently took it public. Its symbol is POWN. Now any fan can be in partnership with Stan Lee by simply picking up some stock in his new company.


Biography...

Stan Lee: ComiX-Man


Click here to order today! This DVD, produced by A&E's Biography Channel, is the first-ever BIOGRAPHY® of the man whose "humanized" super-heroes, including Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk, revolutionized the art and commerce of comic books.

He is the man behind comic legends like Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, and The X-Men. His revolutionary approach transformed comic books forever. Stan Lee may not be a household name, but his creations are. The man who rose from a functionary in a distant relative's publishing house to become editor-in-chief and chairman of the board of Marvel Comics invented some of the most famous superheroes of all time. And by giving them human failings and weaknesses, he rewrote the rules for his industry. BIOGRAPHY® chronicles the life of the real superhero of the comic world. Interviews with artists who drew Lee's storied characters and other employees capture the magic of Marvel's heyday. See classic original art from some of the most significant comics of all time, and get the whole story from Stan himself. From his childhood in Manhattan to the insights of actors who have played his characters on-screen, this is the colorful life of STAN LEE: COMIX-MAN.

Click here to order this DVD today!


Autobiography...

Excelsior! The Amazing Life of Stan Lee
by Stan Lee & George Mair


Click here to order today!

This book is an autographical account of a lot of Stan Lee's history. George Mair, who interviewed Stan Lee in depth, includes his italicized, running comments of specific events. This is not only a fascinating read but also gives Stan Lee's perspective and insight into the business as well as the creation of his legendary superheroes.

For an in depth look into the life and times of the man behind Spider-man, the X-Men, the Incredible Hulk and a legion of other Superheroes read Stan Lee’s personal autobiography “EXCELSIOR! The Amazing Life of Stan Lee”. This book will give you an insight into Stan Lee’s life as each chapter exposes little by little that in fact Stan Lee is actually a real life superhero that overcame incredible odds to ultimately rein as the creative force behind the most enduring superhero legends of our time. The saying - it take one to know one - could never have been more fitting. The story of Stan Lee’s life is told Stan Lee style, with humor and creative wizardry he tells of his life’s dramas and the superhuman feats he performed to overcome them. I was particularly impressed by the magnitude of production this prolific writer, art director, editor, publisher, family man and artist extraordinaire was able to produce under extremely trying conditions and how he is still going all out writing the adventures of his new creations of heroes, heroines, villains and foe.

This book is a must read for every fan and admirer of Stan Lee and it especially addresses the artist, writer, publisher, editor, illustrator, actor, film maker, producer, and anyone in the entertainment industry as it gives the story of how an impoverished young artist brought his imagined fantasies to life and how he broke through and overcame the suppressive elements of the corporate powers. In this book Stan Lee and co-writer George Mair disclose how Stan Lee created his immortal characters and Stan Lee gives a detailed description as to his attitude and actions that eventually resulted in his works of art impacting an entire planet. A true story of a superhero writer who either in writing fantasy or about the factual events of his life has always inspired us to aspire to greater heights. EXCELSIOR!

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