Who is Stan Lee?

Back to Story Central
Back to Parent Guides

Who is Stan Lee?What the Book is About:

Born in New York City to poor Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, Stanley Lieber overcame financial hardship to become ‘Mr. Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee, creator of many of the best known and most popular superheroes including Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, and Iron Man. With helpful panels giving background information on subjects such as the Depression and How Comics are Made, this is an entertaining look at Lee’s life, told in a straightforward style.

 

Jewish Content and Values

  • Stan Lee's parents were Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, and he grew up in a Jewish neighborhood in New York City.
  • Stan showed the Jewish value of hatmadah – perseverance – in pursuing his dream of becoming a writer.

Positive Role Models

  • Stan Lee followed his mother’s advice and studied hard in school so that he could graduate and contribute to the family finances. He took any job he could get in order to help his family, but continued to pursue his dream of becoming a writer. During World War II he was a volunteer in the US Army.

Content Advisory

None

Topics to Discuss

In 1971, the United States government asked Stan to write a Spider-Man comic about the dangers of drug use. The comic book industry had a code of conduct that meant comics couldn’t mention drugs! Stan ignored the code of conduct and wrote three anti-drugs Spider-Man stories. They didn’t receive the seal of approval from the Comic Code Authority. What would you have done in Stan Lee’s position? Would you have followed the rules or done what you thought was right?

More for You

Did you know that many of the most famous superheroes were created by Jews, and a Jewish man invented the first comic book? Maxwell Ginsburg changed his name to the more “American” Charlie Gaines and put together all of the week’s comic strips into a book called Famous Funnies. Stan Lee created not just Spider-man and Iron Man, but the X-men, Thor, the Avengers, and the Fantastic Four. Superman was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Captain America was invented by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby (originally Jacob Kurtzberg), and Batman was created by Bob Kane (originally Robert Kahn) and Bill Finger. In recognition of the contribution of Jews to comics, the first ever Jewish Comic Con was held in November 2016 in a synagogue in Brooklyn, New York.