1. He Is the Single Highest-Grossing Filmmaker In History
Since Stan Lee gets an Executive Producer credit on pretty much every Marvel film ever (including ones for characters he didn't create, like Captain America) and Marvel films have made A LOT of money (The Avengers alone is the 3rd highest grossing film ever), Stan Lee movies have made over 11 billion dollars. Take THAT, James Cameron.
2. He Made His Comic Book Debut As a Text Filler
The comic was 'Captain America Foils the Traitor's Revenge' in Captain America Comics #3 (May 1941). On top of it being Stan's debut, it was ALSO the debut of Cap's signature move - throwing his shield like a frisbee that would bounce back. This was the first time he used the name Stan Lee (his birth name was Stan Lieber).
3. After He Retired From Marvel, He Went To Work For DC Comics (Briefly)
Stan Lee did a series for DC Comics called 'Just Imagine..' - where Lee wold reimagine some of DC Comics' most famous characters as he would have written them, including:
- Superman was a member of Kryptonian law enforcement, and was accidentally teleported to Earth while capturing a dangerous criminal. Superman (real name Saiden) tries to maintain peace on Earth in order to guarantee a technologically-advanced future so that he can be teleported back to Krypton.
- Batman's now named Wayne Williams, and is an African-American whose father died in the line of duty as a police officer. Wayne is set up for a crime he didn't commit, and is taught how to hone his body and mind in prison by his mentor Frederick Grant. Once released, he wrestles under the name 'Batman' in order to hide his identity and earn money. He becomes extremely popular and rich, and uses the money to setup Grant as a millionaire, with Wayne acting as his bodyguard so he won't draw attention.
- Wonder Woman is an activist protesting a corporation from excavating a holy site - and accidentally comes across a plaque containing two spirits, one of lightness and one of darkness. The light spirit bonds with her, giving her solar-powers. The dark spirit bonds with the head of the evil corporation, turning him into a beast.
4. The First Comic Book Character He Created Was 'The Destroyer'
Co-created with Jack Binder and Alex Schomburg (although it's unclear who actually designed the character), The Destroyer debuted in Mystic Comics #6 (Oct 1941). He was an American journalist reporting from behind enemy lines during World War II who got captured by the Nazis, and was given a prototype super soldier serum by an German scientist who opposed the Nazis. He escaped his confinement and used his abilities to fight Nazis throughout the war.
5. Stan Lee Exists Within the World of Marvel Comics In Earth-1218
...and so do all of us, since Earth-1218 is the Marvelverse's name for our actual reality.
6. One of His Earliest Jobs Was Writing Obituaries
Probably not a coincidence he went on to create numerous characters who were constantly dying and being brought back to life.
7. He's the Reason Drug Use Can Even Be Shown In Comics
In the mid-1970's, The United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare asked Stan Lee to write a comic book depicting the dangers of drug abuse while he was editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics. He did a three part Spider-Man story that involved Harry Osborne having a bad LSD trip, but the Comic Code Authority objected to the comics because they had a strict no-drug policy - even if drugs were being shown in a negative light. Stan decided to run the issues without CCA approval and the issues sold just fine. After this, the CCA changed their policy - allowing drug-related topics to be included in comics.
8. He Had a Cameo in The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
Despite what you may think, The Princess Diaries is not based on a superhero comic created by Stan Lee.
And here's one OTHER thing you may not have known about Stan Lee - he's going to be in attendance at this year's C2E2! He'll be signing autographs and chatting with fans the Saturday and Sunday of the convention (running from April 25 - 27, 2014).