This week, at 95 years old, the world lost a legend - Stan Lee, creator and co-creator of Marvel's greatest superheroes. Lee was the editor-in-chief, publisher, and chairman of Marvel Comics for decades. Despite leaving the company later in life, he is credited with building the Marvel universe into the phenomenon that it is today.

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"We all wish we had superpowers. We all wish we could do more than we can do." - Stan Lee

Lee got his start at Timely Comics in the 1940's, which would become Atlas Comics in the 1950's, which then become Marvel Comics in 1961 during the company's re-branding.

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Stan Lee once said that he used to draw what he thought was the ideal woman, always with the same face and hair - and one day he finally found her. One of Lee's friends finally convinced him to go to 'Laden Hats' where a very beautiful hat model worked. The door opened and the woman he had been drawing his whole life appeared. Despite this being their first meeting and the fact that he was actually supposed to be meeting her friend, Lee said the only words he could think of - " I love you." Stan proposed to Joan on their first date, they were married in 1947 and were together for 69 years until her death in 2017.

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Lee and his wife, Joan Lee, in one of his many cameos.

We can all thank Joan for encouraging Stan to pursue his dreams. When Lee was working at Timely Comics he felt his career had reached its end and was planning on quitting. Joan encouraged Stan to stay and do one last book, exactly how he wanted to since he didn't have anything to lose. This comic was The Fantastic Four.

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The Fantastic Four (co-created with Jack Kirby), published in 1961, is what led to so many of the superheroes that we all know and love to be created! This one comic helped Lee to pave the way for and co-create heroes like Iron Man, Black Panther, Ant-Man, the X-Men, the Avengers, Captain America, the Hulk, Thor, Daredevil, and of course your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

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"Comic books to me are fairy tales for grown-ups." - Stan Lee

Stan Lee was a pioneer of comic books and is credited with challenging and changing the ideals of what a superhero is. Superheroes were always seen as perfect people, but Lee made his heroes more complex. He wanted to create a new form of heroes where they were flawed, struggled, worried, were belligerent, narcissistic, or even physically ill. Lee had always challenged rules and stereotypes and always spoke out about discrimination or prejudice. Because Lee was unafraid to push boundaries he was able to create a community around the elaborate multiverse comics and characters that everyone came to love.

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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. 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." - Stan Lee

Fun Facts:

- In 1987 Stan Lee officiated a wedding, between Spider-Man and Mary Jane, for a publicity event where actors dressed as the characters.

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- Lee received the American National Medal of Arts in 2008. He is the only comic book artist to ever receive this award. Lee also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011.

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"I have always included minority characters in my stories, often as heroes. We live in a diverse society - in fact, a diverse world, and we must learn to live in peace and with respect for each other." - Stan Lee

Lee was also know and loved for his cameo appearances, which he did specifically for his fans. Lee made sure it was part of his contract when he stepped down at Marvel. Roy Thomas, Lee's successor, stated that Lee always enjoyed doing the cameos the most and was talking about his future cameos two days before his death. Lee's first cameo was in 1989 for a TV movie, "The Trial of the Incredible Hulk". Despite his death, fans will be able to see Lee one last time in his last cameo in the Untitled Avengers film set to release in May 2018.

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So until then, Rest in Peace Mr. Lee, we thank you for the amazing worlds, heroes, and villains that you created for us. You will be greatly missed and as always... Excelsior!

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"I guess one person can make a difference." - Stan Lee

_This article was written by @bailey_marie_king on the We Heart It Writers Team._