WATCH | December 28 marks the 94th birthday of comic-book legend Stan Lee. Here are just some of the reasons the co-creator of some the comic book world's top superheroes has been called the "only living Marvel comic hero on earth."
Born Stanley Martin Lieber, Lee helped create many legendary Marvel comic book characters.
WATCH | Co-creating Spider-Man in 1962, the New York City native reminded all nerdy teens that they, too, have heroic potential.
WATCH | Lee also co-created the X-Men. From the era of civil rights to modern-day LGTBQ+ fights, Lee's vision of mutant superheroes resonates among fans who have felt like outcasts. "The whole underlying principle of the X-Men was to try to be an anti-bigotry story," Lee said in 2013.
He also co-created Iron Man, Hulk and Thor of "The Avengers," who yielded blockbuster films.
WATCH | Lou Ferrigno, who played TV's "The Incredible Hulk" from 1978 to 1982 and teamed up with Lee for a joint cameo in the 2003 "Hulk" feature film, once called Lee the "only living Marvel comic hero on Earth."
Lee changed the perception of the typical comic book fan from closeted geek to Hollywood chic.
WATCH | And forget the teasers after end-credits: Lee's cameos are Marvel films' best recurring bit.
WATCH | And while he didn't create Captain America, Lee channeled that patriotic spirit when he enlisted in the U.S. Army at the beginning of World War II. An eventual sergeant in the Army's Signal Corps, he produced manuals and cartoons.
A creative risk-taker, Lee created Spike's "Stripperella," voiced by Pamela Anderson.
WATCH | According to Lee's wife, Joan Clayton Boocock Lee, when the couple first met, he told her, "Hello. I think I'm going to fall in love with you." He was right, and the feeling was mutual: They're slated to celebrate their 70th anniversary in late 2017.
WATCH | As 2016 comes to a close, Lee's arguably more relevant than ever. Yet another one of his co-creations, Doctor Strange, contributed to Marvel's $2.6 billion box-office gross this year.
WATCH | Lee's a living testament to his frequently shouted motto "excelsior!" -- a Latin phrase that loosely translates to "ever upward!"
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