Joan Lee, wife of Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee, passes away at 93

Joan Lee, the wife of Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee, passed away today in Los Angeles at the age of 93.

A spokesperson for the Lee family told THR, “I can confirm the sad news that Joan Lee passed away this morning quietly and surrounded by her family. The family ask that you please give them time to grieve and respect their privacy during this difficult time.”

Joan Clayton Boocock Lee and Stan Lee were married for 69 years. The couple married on December 5th, 1947. Joan Lee was a British hat model and met Stan Lee by chance. Stan Lee was supposed to take her friend out on a date, but Joan answered the door instead of her friend and the chemistry was instant.

In a THR interview celebrating his 75 years with Marvel, Lee described meeting Joan for the first time.

“When I was young, there was one girl I drew; one body and face and hair. It was my idea of what a girl should be. The perfect woman. And when I got out of the Army, somebody, a cousin of mine, knew a model, a hat model at a place called Laden Hats. He said, ‘Stan, there’s this really pretty girl named Betty. I think you’d like her. She might like you. Why don’t you go over and ask her to lunch.’ Blah, blah, blah.

“So I went up to this place. Betty didn’t answer the door. But Joan answered, and she was the head model. I took one look at her — and she was the girl I had been drawing all my life. And then I heard the English accent. And I’m a nut for English accents! She said, ‘May I help you?’ And I took a look at her, and I think I said something crazy like, ‘I love you.’ I don’t remember exactly. But anyway, I took her to lunch. I never met Betty, the other girl. I think I proposed to [Joan] at lunch.”

The couple had two daughters – Joan Celia “J.C.” born in 1950, and Jan, who died three days after her birth in 1953.

Joan Lee herself was also a writer. She wrote a novel in 1987 called The Pleasure Palace – a story about a man striving to build the most luxurious ocean liner ever while romancing three women at once. According to daughter, J.C., Joan Lee had three other unpublished books completed.

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