Stan Lee, who dreamed up Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Hulk and a cavalcade of other Marvel Comics superheroes that became mythic figures in pop culture with soaring success at the movie box office, died at the age of 95, his daughter has confirmed.

As a writer and editor, Lee was key to the ascension of Marvel into a comic book titan in the 1960s when, in collaboration with artists such as Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, he created superheroes who would enthrall generations of young readers.

“He felt an obligation to his fans to keep creating,” his daughter JC Lee said in a statement to Reuters.

“He loved his life and he loved what he did for a living. His family loved him and his fans loved him. He was irreplaceable.”

She did not mention Lee’s cause of death but the TMZ celebrity news website said an ambulance was called to Lee’s Hollywood Hills home early Monday (US local time) and that he died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

His creations included web-slinging teenager Spider-Man, the muscle-bound Hulk, mutant outsiders the X-Men, the close-knit Fantastic Four and the playboy-inventor Tony Stark, better known as Iron Man.

Dozens of Marvel Comics movies, with nearly all the major characters Lee created, were produced in the first decades of the 21st century, grossing over US$20 billion at theaters worldwide, according to box office analysts.

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