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Comic book icon Stan Lee dead at 95

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Film Premiere of Avengers Infinity WarFeaturing: Stan LeeWhere: Los Angeles, California, United StatesWhen: 23 Apr 2018Credit: Apega/WENN.com

(WENN) - Comic book legend Stan Lee has died, aged 95.

The brains behind Marvel's most famous characters, including "Spider-Man," "Black Panther," "X-Men," and "The Avengers," passed away at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on Monday after paramedics were called to his home in the Hollywood Hills following a medical emergency, according to TMZ.

Lee was born Stanley Martin Lieber to Romanian-born Jewish immigrants in New York City and graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx.

He climbed the ladder at Timely Comics to become editor in the early 1940s, when he adopted the name Stan Lee.

After a stint in the U.S. Army he returned to Timely Comics in 1945 and married his girlfriend Joan in 1947. She was his wife until her death last year.

In the 1950s, Lee worked with Timely Comics publisher Martin Goodman on a rival to DC Comics’ Justice League series and he co-created the "Fantastic Four" with Jack Kirby in 1961. Lee and Kirby went on to create "Thor," "Iron Man," the "X-Men," the "Incredible Hulk," "Black Panther" and"Spider-Man" in 1962.

Timely was renamed Marvel Comics, and Lee was named publisher and editorial director of the company in 1972.

In 1998, Lee launched Stan Lee Media, which would become POW! Entertainment.

He had a falling out with Marvel executives over royalties linked to the first "Spider-Man" movie starring Tobey Maguire, but later settled and became a regular fixture in all Marvel movies, appearing as himself in quirky cameos.

Stan's health has often made headlines in recent years and he recently battled pneumonia in hospital.

The comic book icon's final years were dogged by stories about elder abuse, and earlier this year (18) he defended his daughter, Joan Celia Lee, when she was accused of mistreating her father.

In April The Hollywood Reporter published alarming allegations that she and three male associates, Keya Morgan, Jerardo Olivarez and attorney Kirk Schenck, were manipulating him.

Lee gave an interview praising his daughter and denying the abuse claims, but his lawyers have since taken legal action against Olivarez and Morgan, and obtained a restraining order against the latter after he was arrested in June for reporting a false emergency. He is also accused of mishandling Lee's money, and trying to isolate him from his family.

OIivarez, Lee's former publicist and business manager, is accused of using his blood to create a commemorative stamp without consent.

The comic book legend faced other hardships late in his life - in August 2015, his former assistant sued him for "severe mental abuse", and earlier this year he was accused of sexually harassing his nurses and home aides.

Flowers will be placed on the comic book guru's Hollywood Walk of Fame star on Monday afternoon. Lee was honored with his star in January, 2011.


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