Siegel, Jerry

Born: October 17, 1914
Died: January 28, 1996

Ohio connection: Birth


Born in Cleveland to Jewish immigrants from Lithuania, Jerry Siegel, along with boyhood friend Joe Shuster, created Superman, one of the most recognizable fictional characters of the 20th century.  Siegel created the character of Superman, his background story and superpowers, while Joe Shuster worked as the artist, rendering Superman in his now familiar tights and cape.

In 1938, Superman was chosen as a cover feature for Action Comics #1, published by the future DC Comics. Superman was an instant success. In 1948 Siegel married Joanne Carter, who posed for the prototype of Lois Lane. Famously, Siegel and Shuster signed away rights to Superman for only $130, so they did not benefit greatly from the Man of Steel’s incredible financial success.  A series of lawsuits throughout the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s resulted in the pair receiving a modest pension from DC comics, and a guarantee that future Superman comics, programs, and other products would give credit to the two original creators. Jerry Siegel died of heart failure in Los Angeles in January of 1996.