Superman Comic Books

Jerry Siegel

Jerry Siegel On January 28, 1996, Jerry Siegel died. The Reuters obituary follows:

From: (Elayne Wechsler-Chaput)
Newsgroups: rec.arts.comics.misc
Subject: Re: OBIT: Jerry Siegel
Date: 2 Feb 1996 16:48:58 -0500

I have finally received official permission from ClariNet to post their Siegel obit from Reuters. They requested I give full attribution, so pardon the headers.

It's all Copyright 1996 by Reuters and reposted with permission from the ClariNet group clari.(GROUPNAME). For more info on ClariNet, write to or phone 1-800-USE-NETS.

Distribution: clari.reuters
From: (Reuter / Arthur Spiegelman)
Subject: Jerry Siegel, co-creator of Superman, dies
Keywords: urgent
Organization: Copyright 1996 by Reuters
Lines: 44
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 1996 16:40:19 PST
Expires: Tue, 6 Feb 1996 16:40:19 PST
ACategory: usa
Slugword: SUPERMAN
Threadword: superman
Priority: important
ANPA: Wc: 398/0; Id: a2230; Src: reut; Sel: reute; Adate: 01-30-N.A

NEW YORK (Reuter) - Jerry Siegel, who as a teen-ager in the Depression co-created Superman and started a craze for comic book superheroes that has never abated, has died at age 81, the publishers of Superman comics said Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for DC Comics said Siegel died Sunday at his home in Los Angeles of heart failure. Joseph Shuster, the Canadian immigrant who drew the comic strip which Siegel wrote, died in 1992 at age 78, also in Los Angeles.

The two childhood friends, both science fiction fanatics, had just graduated from Glenville High School in Cleveland in 1934 when they created "The Man of Steel," a gentleman more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound and faster than a speeding bullet.

It took them four years to sell the idea to National Allied Periodicals, which also bought the rights to the characters Siegel and Shuster created for less than $200.

The two men earned a fairly lucrative salary drawing and writing the comic books until 1947 when they sued for more money and were fired.

They never wrote or drew the Superman comic books again and were reported near poverty in the early 1970s when the first of major new series of Superman films came out.

After a protest by comic book artists around the country, Warner, which owned DC Comics, put the two men on a pension which rose into the six figures over the years.

While Siegel's and Shuster's fortunes rose and fell, Superman, an immigrant from the planet Krypton, achieved the American dream.

He became a star in virtually every form of media from comic books to films to television, spawning many imitators from Captain Marvel to Wonder Woman, Batman and Spiderman.

Mike Carlin, the current editor of Superman comics, said Siegel was always very supportive.

"When we killed Superman off in 1992, he was very supportive. He said it was a good way to shake things up," Carlin said. "He understood, he was a writer. All the writers at DC Comics were very happy because 'Daddy' approved."

Superman was later brought back to life through the one-time only use of a Kryptonian healing chamber -- but only after tens of thousands of fans registered their protests.

Siegel is survived by his wife Joanne, a model for the original Lois Lane, a daughter, a son, and two grandsons.

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Note: Despite what the article says, Jerry Siegel did write some stories for DC Comics after the 1947 lawsuit.