Stan Lee, the man behind the most iconic comic book characters to ever exist, has passed away, according to TMZ. He was 95 years old.
According to the celebrity news website, Lee, the legendary Marvel writer, editor, and publisher, was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after ambulances were called to his Hollywood Hills home this morning.
There's no information regarding the cause of his death, but Lee has suffered a number of ailments recently, including pneumonia and problems with his vision.
Lee, whose real name is Stanley Martin Lieber, began working in the industry in 1939, and along with his frequent collaborators like Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, he brought to life popular characters such as Spider-Man, Iron Man, X-Men, Thor, The Fantastic Four, and Black Panther.
"I used to think what I did was not very important," he told the Chicago Tribune in April 2014. "People are building bridges and engaging in medical research, and here I was doing stories about fictional people who do extraordinary, crazy things and wear costumes. But I suppose I have come to realize that entertainment is not easily dismissed."
However, in the last few years, his relationship with Marvel and a few other entertainment companies became very complicated. He sued the now Disney-owned company for royalties in 2002, and the case was eventually settled for $10 million.
He also filed a $1 billion lawsuit against POW! Entertainment, a production company he founded in 2001, but the suit was dropped just a few weeks later.
Lee's final months were also quite tumultuous. Recent reports revealed that the Los Angeles Police Department had been investigating claims of elder abuse against his manager.
Despite it all, his legacy as the figurehead of Marvel is the one that so many of us who grew up reading and watching hours of his creations will always remember.
Lee is survived by his daughter Joan and his brother Larry Lieber. His wife, also named Joan, died last year after 69 years of marriage. Lee was father to another daughter, Jan, but she died in infancy.