American comics artist, writer and co-creator of Marvel comic superheroes Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, Steve Ditko has passed away aged 90 after being found dead in his midtown Manhattan apartment.
According to New York Police Department spokesman George Tsourovakas, Mr. Ditko was found dead on June 29.
Marvel President Dan Buckley said in a statement “the Marvel family mourns the loss” of Mr Ditko. Steve transformed the industry and the Marvel Universe, and his legacy will never be forgotten.
He added: “Our thoughts are with his family, loved ones, and fans during this sad time.”
Ditko was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, in 1927. After graduating from high school in 1945, Mr. Ditko joined the Army and was stationed in Germany, where he drew cartoons for a service newspaper.
He later worked in comics in the 1950s in New York, before eventually landing a drawing job with Marvel forerunner Atlas Comics.
In the 1960s Stephen Ditko, along with Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were behind the Marvel Comics’ rebirth, as well as Spider-Man and Doctor Strange. Mr. Ditko also created many of their enemies, including the Green Goblin, Baron Mordo, the Sandman, the Dread Dormammu, the Vulture and the Lizard.