Joe Simon was 98 years of age.
The comics world has lost one of its greatest writers and innovators. Joe Simon – born Hymie Simon, 1913 – moved to New York City in the 30s where he met artist Jack Kirby. The pair became friends as they both tried to break into writing comic books, getting their big break on writing a new character for Timely Comics – the predecessor to Marvel. Captain America was a huge success, and Simon and Kirby worked together on many other books for different publishers including Sandman, the Boy Commandoes, Newsboy Legion, The Fly and Lancelot Strong, The Shield and Captain Marvel Adventures #1. Simon left the comics industry in the sixties but continued to fight for artists’ rights and attend conventions like San Diego Comic Con to talk about his work. The news of Joe Simon’s passing first broke on his son’s Facebook page before being confirmed by Marvel Comics.
Current comics writers were quick to pay homage to all that Simon did for the industry. “We lost another of the Titans this week,” said DC’s Jim Lee. “A creative virtuoso, Joe Simon will be best known for co-creating Captain America with legendary artist Jack Kirby but his many contributions to DC Comics, both as a writer and an editor, are legion and will continue to be cherished by longtime fans, this one included. Our sympathies go out to his family, friends and many, many fans.”
“Joe Simon was a true legend in the comic book industry,” said Dan DiDio from DC. “So much of what we are today is owed to him and his amazing creativity. In addition to one of the great writers of the Golden Age, he was also an editor at DC Comics. We appreciate all of his contributions to DC Comics and the industry as a whole, both on the page and behind the scenes.”
After the successful movie adaptation this summer, popularity of the Captain America character was very high, but it still was nothing compared to the heyday of World War II. In 1941, eight months before the attack on Pearl Harbor that officially drew the U.S. into the war, Timely Comics published a book with a cover depicting a red, white and blue character punching Adolf Hitler in the face. That comic book sold more than million copies – a buttload for the era – and Captain America’s comics were in demand more than Superman by American soldiers overseas.
All that was due to Joe Simon, who in his close partnership with Jack Kirby, created the character that would be an icon for all that was good about America.
Source: Comic Book Resources