After news broke on November 12th that pop culture marvel Stan Lee had passed away at the age of 95, fans and critics alike were quick to post tributes on social media, sharing how the legendary figure had influenced their lives. From Spider-Man to the Avengers, Stan Lee's lasting impact on the entertainment that we consume can't possibly be overstated.
Even though Stan Lee has left this world, he will never leave our Marvel-loving hearts. It's time to look back at the most inspiring things he has said in his lifetime. Here are the 10 most inspirational Stan Lee quotes.
READ MORE: Marvel Legend Stan Lee Passes Away At 95
10. No Slowing Down
It's amazing and inspiring to think that Stan Lee never slowed down in life — he was creating up until his death. In fact, he had several projects in the works: 2019's Spider-Man: Far From Home is currently in post-production, along with Dark Phoenix and the Untitled Avengers Movie... and that's only listing a few.
In 2017, he told The Arts Desk that retiring wasn't exactly in the cards for him. He said, "Most people say, 'I can’t wait to retire so I can play golf,' or go yachting or whatever they do. Well, if I was playing golf, I would want that to finish so I could go and dream up a new TV show."
9. A Humble Man
They say to never meet your idols, but we have a feeling that if we were ever lucky enough to cross paths with Stan Lee, we would have proven that statement to be very wrong.
This Stan Lee quote, mentioned in The Guardian, shows what a humble man he was: “I never thought that Spider-Man would become the worldwide icon that he is. I just hoped the books would sell and I’d keep my job.”
That is almost too amazing to hear. It's a good reminder to always stay humble and do what we love every day; the success will always come.
8. A Real Legend
Is there anything that MCU fans want more than a Stan Lee biopic? According to In Touch Weekly, back in 2002, he said, "Someone wants to do a movie of my life now and he’s writing a script, and I said to him, ‘What the hell could you do? I’ve never been arrested, I haven’t taken drugs, I’ve had the same wife for 54 years… where’s anything of interest to people?'”
After knowing how humble Stan Lee was, it's no surprise that he would feel this way, but we can all agree that he was wrong. We would be fascinated by a movie about his life's work, and we really hope that this happens someday.
READ MORE: Stan Lee’s 10 Little-Known Non-MCU Cameos
7. Lucky In Love
In the same interview with The Arts Desk, Stan Lee gave some inspiring relationship advice. He said, "Luck is one of the most important things in the world and really has a role to play in everything, and in marriage, I’ve been lucky enough to be married to the same girl for all these years."
Stan Lee and Joan B. Lee were married for 69 years until she passed away in 2017. We could all use more luck in our lives, especially our love lives, and hearing that a couple had so much love between them is not only heartwarming but also shows us that we can have that, too.
6. Diversity, Please
It's no secret to Stan Lee and Marvel fans (who are one and the same, of course) that he has created a universe where diversity is celebrated. One only has to think of the massive success of Blank Panther to agree with that.
Business Insider quoted Stan Lee's comments on diversity: “I have always included minority characters in my stories, often as heroes. We live in a diverse society — in fact, a diverse world, and we must learn to live in peace and with respect for each other.” In 2016, Stan Lee created the RESPECT Initiative to, as Business Insider said, "encourage people to be more accepting and inclusive of others."
5. So Creative
We can guess that Stan Lee had some wise and inspiring words on the creative process and how to come up with ideas in general. Stan Lee once said, "I try not to do anything that's too close to what I've done before. And the nice thing is we have a big universe here. It's filled with new ideas. All you have to do is grab them."
Any writers or artists of any kind will be glad to hear his words. We could all use a reminder every now and then. We're capable of so many things, and this is a great quote to keep handy if you're stuck in one of your own creative pursuits.
4. Fairy Tales Forever
According to The Guardian, Stan Lee had an incredible quote that mentioned both superheroes and fairy tales. He said, “My theory about why people like superheroes is that when we were kids, we all loved to read fairy tales. Fairy tales are all about things bigger than life: giants, witches, trolls, dinosaurs and dragons and all sorts of imaginative things. Then you get a little bit older and you stop reading fairy tales, but you don’t ever outgrow your love of them.”
We can see the truth in that statement and it's impossible not to feel inspired after reading it. We may not read fairy tales anymore, but we definitely love Stan Lee's films and TV shows.
3. Have Some Fun
Entertainment legends just want to have fun. Okay, that might not be how the song goes, but it should because that is something else that Stan Lee has taught us.
When he was interviewed by IGN in 2000, he said, "I don’t know where the hell I’ll be in five years. Maybe I’ll be producing movies, maybe I’ll be on a corner selling apples. I don’t know, but I’m having a hell of a lot of fun."
How cool is it to hear that such a massively successful figure in Hollywood cared about having fun? It's something that we should try and remember in our daily lives.
"Excelsior" is a word that Stan Lee fans know super well, and several fans included this word in their social media posts and tributes.
This is part of a longer quote that Stan Lee said in a Playboy interview in 2014: "You know, my motto is 'Excelsior.' That's an old word that means 'upward and onward to greater glory.' It's on the seal of the state of New York. Keep moving forward, and if it's time to go, it's time. Nothing lasts forever." Talk about inspiring words. His approach to life is definitely something that we can all take to heart and remember during tough times.
1. An Important Job
When interviewed at the 2010 Comic-Con in San Diego, Stan Lee said the most inspiring of all of his quotes. He talked about how he started to think differently about his area of work and it's motivation for any kid (or grown-up) to follow their own entertainment dreams.
He said, “I used to be embarrassed because I was just a comic book writer while other people were building bridges or going on to medical careers. And then I began to realize: Entertainment is one of the most important things in people’s lives. Without it, they might go off the deep end.”
Rest in peace, Stan Lee. We are so grateful for the stories.