Stan Lee, the co-creator of Marvel Comics, has died aged 95.
The Associated Press said that a family lawyer had confirmed the death of the creator of Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four and The Incredible Hulk.
Celebrity news website TMZ said the 95-year-old was rushed to hospital from his Hollywood Hills home on Monday morning.
It said Mr Lee’s daughter confirmed her father had later died at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre.
Mr Lee, who recently fought off a bought of pneumonia, founded Marvel Comics with Jack Kirby in 1961.
Many of the characters’ stories have since been turned into Hollywood films, turning the Marvel brand into a multi-billionaire dollar business.
Mr Lee was renowned for making brief comical cameos in each of the Marvel universe films.
Tributes poured in, with director Director Edgar Wright, who was executive producer on the Antman film, saying: “Stan Lee, RIP. Thanks for inspiring so many of us to pick up a pen or pencil and put your dreams onto paper. Excelsior!”
Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk wrote: “Rest in peace, Stan Lee. The many worlds of imagination & delight you created for humanity will last forever.”
Actor Seth Rogen also said on Twitter: “Thank you Stan Lee for making people who feel different realize they are special.”