Marvel Comics superhero Stan Lee, who passed away Monday after suffering pneumonia and vision issues, had a modest net worth of $50million to $70million, it has been estimated.
Lee admitted to The Hollywood Reporter in 2016 that he was ‘stupid’ when it comes to business decisions throughout his career and insisted he ‘should have been greedier.’
The late legend particularly blamed a business deal he signed in 1998, when he traded up his movie points for a $10million payout.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Iron Man Sequel alone cashed in a whopping $2.4billion.
Lee then sued Marvel Enterprises in 2002, claiming the company cheated him out of 10 percent of profits from X-Men, Spider-Man and the Hulk. The suit was settled three years later and he was awarded a meager $10million, just a few years before Disney bought the publishing company for an astounding $4billion.
While speaking of his net worth to Playboy in a 2014, he said: ‘My daughter was looking at the internet the other day and read that Stan Lee has an estimated $250million.
‘I mean, that’s ridiculous! I don’t have $100million or anywhere near that.’
While there has been no confirmation on who will inherit Lee’s fortune, many are speculating whether it will go to his only living child, Joan Celia Lee.
Marvel Comics superhero Stan Lee, who passed away Monday after suffering pneumonia and vision issues, had an estimated net worth of $50million to $70million. Lee is pictured at the Marvel Fine Art Program launch at New York Comic Con in 2012
Bob Iger, chairman and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Co., right, stands on stage with Lee during the Disney Legends Awards at the D23 Expo 2017 in California
Lee and actor Chris Hemsworth arrive at the Los Angeles premiere of Thor at the El Capitan Theatre on May 2, 2011 in Hollywood
Lee (L) and actor Chadwick Boseman at the Los Angeles World Premiere of Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER at Dolby Theatre on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood
Actor Robert Downey Jr. (L) and Lee attend The Los Angeles World Premiere of Marvel Studios Doctor Strange in Hollywood, CA on Oct. 20th, 2016
Lee told the Daily Beast in an interview last month: ‘This money will be left to her, and instead of waiting until I die, I will give her as much as I can for her to enjoy now.
‘That’s what I’m trying to do… sometimes we have a few discussions. “Dad, can I ever have another few bucks?” And I say, “Are you sure you’ll be left with enough?” But there’s no problem. There’s no problem at all,’ he said in the interview.
Lee didn’t leave behind many other family members at the time of his death. His wife, Joan B. Lee, passed away last year after suffering complications from a stroke. His only other daughter, Jan Lee, died in 1953 three days after birth.
Aside from Joan Celia, or J.C., Lee is survived by his 87-year-old brother and fellow comic book writer, Larry Lieber.
Many are speculating whether the late legend’s fortune will go to his only living child, Joan Celia Lee. Lee and J.C. Lee are pictured at The Premiere of With Great Power in 2012
Aside from Joan, Lee is survived by his 87-year-old brother and fellow comic book writer, Larry Lieber (pictured above)
Lee is seen with only child Joan Celia, known as ‘J.C.’ right. His wife Joan (left) died in July last year after suffering complications from a stroke
The creative dynamo, who revolutionized the comic book, has helped make billions for Hollywood. He introduced human frailties in Marvel superheroes such as Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and the Incredible Hulk.
As the top writer at Marvel Comics and later as its publisher, Lee was widely considered the architect of the contemporary comic book.
He revived the industry in the 1960s by offering the costumes and action craved by younger readers while insisting on sophisticated plots, college-level dialogue, satire, science fiction, even philosophy.
Lee hit his stride this decade when he brought the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Spider-Man, Iron Man and numerous others to life.
Lee scripted most of Marvel’s superhero comics himself during the ’60s, including the Avengers and the X-Men, two of the most enduring. In 1972, he became Marvel’s publisher and editorial director; four years later, 72million copies of Spider-Man were sold.
Lee also published several books, including ‘The Superhero Women’ in 1977 and ‘How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way’ the following year, when he was named publisher of the year by the Periodical and Book Association of America.
The dapper, friendly comic book genius continued to work into his 90s on numerous projects, including comics, films and DVDs. He is pictured above in 1990
Lee was recognizable to his fans with various cameos in Marvel films and TV projects. He filmed a cameo in every Marvel Studios film, with Venom (pictured above) being the most recent
Lee’s death came just one day after he tweeted a photo of himself in his WWII uniform for Veterans’ Day. He served during the war writing for training films before going back to Marvel
CBS turned the Hulk into a successful TV series, with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno portraying the doomed scientist from 1978-82. A Spider-Man series ran briefly in 1978. Both characters were featured in animated TV series as well.
The first big-budget movie based on Lee’s characters, ‘X-Men,’ was a smash in 2000, earning more than $130million at North American theaters. ‘Spider-Man’ did even better, taking in more than $400million in 2002.
A Marvel movie empire would emerge after that, one of the most lucrative mega-franchises in cinema history, with the recent ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ grossing more than $2billion worldwide. In 10 years, the Marvel Cinematic Universe film shave netted over $17.6billion in worldwide grosses.
Born December 28, 1922, in New York, he grew up a fan of ‘Hardy Boys’ adventure books and Errol Flynn movies, and got a job at Timely Comics after graduating from high school.
Within a few months, the editor and art director quit, leaving the 17-year-old Lee with creative control over the company, which grew and was renamed Atlas Comics and, finally, Marvel. Lieber changed his name, thinking Lee would be used for ‘silly little comics’ and his real name would be reserved for novels.
His early work largely reflected popular movies – westerns, crime dramas, romance, whatever was the rage at the time. He worked for about 50 cents per page.
After a stint in the Army during World War II, writing for training films, he was back at Marvel to begin a long and admittedly boring run of assembly line comic book production.
Lee’s direct influence faded in the 1970s as he gave up some of his editorial duties at Marvel. But with his trademark white mustache and tinted sunglasses, he was the industry’s most recognizable figure. He lectured widely on popular culture.
Lee moved to Los Angeles in 1981 to head Marvel Productions, an animation studio that was later purchased, along with Marvel Comics, for $50million by New World Entertainment.
As sales of comics declined, Marvel was forced into bankruptcy proceedings that meant it had to void a lifetime contract prohibiting Lee from working for anyone else. Lee later sued Marvel for $10million, saying the company cheated him out of millions in profits from movies based on his characters.
In 2000, Lee agreed to write stories for DC Comics, reinventing Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and other signature characters for Marvel’s one-time rival. DC Vice President and Publisher Paul Levitz had nothing but praise when the agreement was made.
The creative dynamo, who revolutionized the comic book, has helped make billions for Hollywood by introducing human frailties in Marvel superheroes such as Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and the Incredible Hulk. He is pictured on the red carpet in 2004
‘With his artistic collaborators at Marvel, Stan co-created the richest imaginary universe a single comics writer has ever built,’ he said.
The dapper, friendly comic book genius continued to work into his 90s on numerous projects, including comics, films and DVDs.
In the late 1990s, he looked to capitalize on the Internet craze, offering animated ‘Webisodes’ of comic-like action. Stan Lee Media also sought to reach out to Web-savvy youth through deals with pop artists the Backstreet Boys and Mary J. Blige.
The company went bankrupt, and three men were indicted for allegedly defrauding the business in a check kiting scam. Lee wasn’t implicated.
After that initial failure, Lee formed the successful Pow! Entertainment company to launch animated Internet-based projects.