Born Stanley Martin Lieber, Stan Lee spent much of his life in the comics industry– with a break for WWII service in the Army– and with fellow artists, co-created legions of iconic characters.
Lee grew up in the Bronx and by age 17 was working at Timely Comics, a company that would later grow into Marvel. Some seven months before the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor brought the country into World War II, Lieber, using the Lee pseudonym, wrote his first comic, Captain America #3.
Setting down his pencils, Lee soon put on a uniform and joined the Army Signal Corps shortly after hearing of “The Day Which Shall Live in Infamy,” working as a lineman before his skills were put to use in making training posters and doing technical writing– so just think, some of those horrible WWII TMs could have included work by Lee!
In 2012, Lee was inducted into the Signal Corps Regimental Association and presented with an honorary membership into the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment.
“This is one of my proudest moments,” Lee said.
The move came just after he popped up in a classic WWII “pink and green uniform” during a cameo as a four-star general in the first Captain America film. Quite a promotion from the T-5 days!
Always a class act, he occasionally appeared at Veterans events over the years and made sure to interact with Servicemembers whenever possible.
And of course showed up as a hard-drinking WWII Army Vet in Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015):
Stan, you will be missed.