Steve Ditko, who created or co-created some of the most enduring characters in comics is dead at the age of 90.
No cause of death has been released, but the reclusive comic book artist was found dead in his apartment June 29th. The New York Police Department confirmed the artists’ death to The Hollywood Reporter.
Stephen J. Ditko was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania on Nov. 2, 1927. His father worked at a steel mill and his mother was a homemaker. He developed an interest in comics from his father (who loved Prince Valiant) and from Batman and the Spirit, which both debuted as he entered his teens.
Ditko began his career in 1953 after studying under famed Batman artist Jerry Robinson. He went to work with other legendary artists Joe Simon and Jack Kirby as an inker and eventually began creating characters for both Marvel Comics and DC Comics. When Stan Lee went to Kirby with an idea for Spider-Man, the artist declined and Ditko stepped in, giving the character his distinctive look. He is also responsible for the creation of characters like Doctor Octopus, Green Goblin, Sandman and The Lizard.
In 1963, Ditko created the character of Doctor Strange for issue number 110 of Strange Tales and drew the character until issue 146 in 1966.
In 1992, Ditko co-created his last original character with writer Will Murray for Marvel Super Heroes Winter Special. That character was Squirrel Girl.
Ditko is responsible for characters outside of Marvel as well. He co-created the character Captain Atom as well as The Question, The Creeper and Hawk and Dove.
Steve Ditko was a pioneer in the world of comics and his creations and vision live on and endure. It is reported that he never married and has no surviving relatives, but his work and creations will continue to live on in the minds and hearts of his fans.