Joan Lee, Stan Lee’s wife of 69 years, has passed away at age 93. following a stroke. They were married on Dec. 5, 1947 and had two children, J.C. (Joan Celia), born in 1950, and Jan, who died three days after her birth in 1953. The British-born former hat model charmed Lee upon their first meeting, as recounted in the above link.
Joan was an inspiration for Stan, who spoke of her often and warmly, and sometimes credited her with inspiring him to create the Fantastic Four:
He was depressed about his career (Lee had dreams of becoming a serious novelist) and the state of comics (the industry in the 1950s was dominated by stories of war, science fiction and romance, genres he didn’t like) and contemplated leaving the business.
“Before you quit,” Joan told him, “why don’t you write one comic you are proud of?” And thus was born the Fantastic Four.
Marvel released the following statement: “We are so saddened to hear about the loss of Joan Lee. We lost a member of the Marvel family today and our thoughts and prayers go out to Stan and his daughter Joan in this difficult time.”
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.