Captain America Chris Evans pays heartfelt tribute to Stan Lee

Stan Lee poses for a portrait at the LMT Music Lodge during Comic Con in San Diego. Comic book genius Lee the architect of the contemporary comic book has died. He was 95

Stan Lee, the man who co-created the X-Men, the Avengers and Black Panther has died.

Stan Lee, the creative dynamo who revolutionized the comic book and helped make billions for Hollywood by introducing human frailties in Marvel superheroes such as Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and the Incredible Hulk, died Monday.

His seemingly boundless joie de vivre meant the goofy cameos he made in every Marvel film were greeted by cheers from audiences young enough to be his grandchildren. "A good many of our people here in America are not white".

He also crafted the concept of the shared universe, in which characters from different franchises interact with each other and impact storylines, an example most clearly seen in The Avengers.

Lee was born Stanley Martin Lieber in NY in December 1922, the son of Jewish immigrants from Romania.

As a teenager he lived with his family in a one-bedroom apartment in the Bronx, where he was influenced by books and Errol Flynn movies.

The stalwart of some of Marvel Comics' most famous and popular characters had been working in the comic book industry since 1939, when he started as an assistant at Timely Comics.

As the top writer at Marvel Comics and later as its publisher, Lee was widely considered the architect of the contemporary comic book. His first published work was as a text filler for Capt. America No. 3, published in 1941.

By the time Lee entered the US Army in 1942 he had been appointed interim editor.

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Initially, as well as tales of superheros, he wrote westerns and romances. A Spider-Man series ran briefly in 1978. Entertainment company to launch animated Internet-based projects. Lee did suffer through several illnesses recently, including pneumonia.

Stan Lee spent a lifetime condemning racism and hatred, including via the heroes in his comic books.

Iron Man actor Robert Downey Jr shared a photo of himself with the comic book legend on Instagram, saying: "I owe it all to you..."

Lee's career was not without controversy though. "Please join us today in remembering Stan "The Man" Lee".

"The beauty of Stan Lee's characters is that they were characters first and superheroes next", Jeff Kline, executive producer of the Men in Black animated television series, told The Blade of Toledo, Ohio, in 1998. In 1972, he became Marvel's publisher and editorial director; four years later, 72 million copies of Spider-Man were sold.

They married in 1947 and had two children - Joan, who was born in 1950, and Jan, who died within three days of her birth in 1953.

Lee's wife and partner in almost everything, Joan Lee, died on July 6, 2017, leaving a void that made her husband, by then in mental and physical decline, vulnerable to hangers-on who began to surround him.

But as Lee famously wrote: "With great power comes great responsibility".

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