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Remembering Stan Lee: a memoir to the man that brought us joy and entertainment through trying times

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Remembering Stan Lee: a memoir to the man that brought us joy and entertainment through trying times

Stan Lee, co-creator of Marvel Universe, passed away at the age of 95. Photo credit: Marvel Entertainment

Stan Lee, co-creator of Marvel Universe, passed away at the age of 95. Photo credit: Marvel Entertainment

Stan Lee, co-creator of Marvel Universe, passed away at the age of 95. Photo credit: Marvel Entertainment

Stan Lee, co-creator of Marvel Universe, passed away at the age of 95. Photo credit: Marvel Entertainment

By Robert Gonzales

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After spending time in and out of hospitals, Stan Lee, a beloved icon and American Marvel comic-book writer, passed at the age of 95 on Nov. 12.

The cause of death is not yet known, according to the Lees’ attorney, but stated that Lee had been hospitalized with pneumonia earlier this year.

Lee’s major creations gave us super-heroes such as Spider-Man, the Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and Daredevil, over a three-year span between 1961 to 1964. This helped mold the creation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), which blossomed into one of the world’s most well-known movie franchises.

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Avengers: Infinity War,” which included a collection of the characters he created, set box-office records upon its release. It was the biggest domestic movie opening weekend of all-time, as well as the biggest global opening weekend. At $257.6 million in its North American launch, the film beat out the previous record holder, “The Fate of the Furious”, by $100 million. It’s one of four movies to ever reach $2 billion worldwide.

Lee enjoyed writing in his youth. As a child, he was influenced by books and movies, particularly those with Errol Flynn playing heroic roles. But he also dreamed of one day writing a Great American Novel. When he graduated high school early at the age of 16, he joined the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Federal Theatre Project which provided live artistic performances and entertainment programs in the United States during the Great Depression.

Stan Lee got a glimpse at what entertainment meant for people going through hard times.

Three years later Lee joined the U.S. Army.

At first, Lee was repairing communication equipment for the army, but he was later transferred to the Training Film Division. Lee used his skills to write training manuals, inspiring slogans, created training films, and occasionally cartooned for the army as well.

Lee continued to give back after the success he had from his comic book creations.

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He created the Stan Lee Foundation in 2010 which focused on education, advancement of the arts, and literacy. The foundation improved access to literacy resources and promoted diversity within the arts as well.

Colleagues who had the privilege of knowing the beloved Lee tweeted, remembering his work and the influence he had on others.

Other entertainment icons acknowledged Stan Lee’s impact on the cinematic landscape.

“Stan Lee was as extraordinary as the characters he created,” said Disney CEO Bob Iger. “A superhero 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.”

Famous actors that worked with Lee during the cinematic movie series chimed in about the loss on Twitter as well.

Another distinguished movie great, Samuel L. Jackson, took a moment on Twitter to thank Lee for his life’s work.

Lee touched the lives of so many individuals with the super characters he created. Lee’s heroes humanized the previous standard, as they came with complexities and character flaws that everyone could connect with.

Personally, through the recent tragedies that occurred in my hometown, I was able to relate with the words reiterated above. My family and I gathered around the T.V. screen watching “Avengers: Infinity War” and his beloved human-like superheroes.

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“I used to be embarrassed because I was just a comic-book writer while other people were building bridges or going on to medical careers,” Lee told the Washington Post. “And then I began to realize: entertainment is one of the most important things in people’s lives. Without it, they might go off the deep end. I feel that if you’re able to entertain people, you’re doing a good thing.”

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