Joan Lee, the wife of Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee, died yesterday in Los Angeles at the age of 93.
Joan had reportedly been hospitalized after suffering a stroke earlier this week.
"I can confirm the sad news that Joan Lee passed away this morning quietly and surrounded by her family," a spokesperson for Stan Lee and his family said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. "The family ask that you please give them time to grieve and respect their privacy during this difficult time."
Joan and Stan would have celebrated their 70th anniversary this December, having tied the knot in New York City more than a decade before the Marvel Comics boom of the 1960s.
Joan was a former British hat model from Newcastle-on-Tyne, and she and Stan had two children together - J.C. (Joan Celia), who was born in 1950, and Jan, who died three days after her birth in 1953.
Marvel paid tribute to her in a statement on Thursday: "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."
It was widely considered to be Joan who urged Lee (who is the legend behind such icons as the Fantastic Four [with Jack Kirby], Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, X-Men and Spider-Man [with Steve Ditko]) to write a new kind of superhero at a time when comics favored prototypical, flawless characters. The two were devoted to one another and across social media, many have attributed Joan with being a major contributor and support to Lee’s success:
Behind every great creator is an incredible partner. We are heartbroken by the passing of Joan Lee. Sending love to Stan Lee and her family. pic.twitter.com/ix6TWclMIE
— Wizard World (@WizardWorld) July 6, 2017
— Alana Uliano (@Alana_Uliano) July 7, 2017
Behind every Spider-Man is an MJ, ðŸ'”@TheRealStanLee so sorry for your loss
— amanda (@amandabutler82) July 7, 2017