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Jerry Siegel
Jerry Siegel in Uniform ca1943 cropped.jpg
Siegel during his service in the US Army in Hawaii, c. 1944
Born Jerome Siegel
(1914-10-17)October 17, 1914
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Died January 28, 1996(1996-01-28) (aged 81)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Area(s) Writer
Pseudonym(s) Joe Carter, Jerry Ess
Notable works
Superman, Action Comics #1
Awards Inkpot Award, 1975
Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame, 1992
Jack Kirby Hall of Fame, 1993
The Bill Finger Award For Excellence in Comic Book Writing, 2005
Bella Siegel
(m. 1939; div. 1948)

Joanne Siegel
(m. 1948; his death 1996)
Children 2

Jerome Siegel (October 17, 1914 – January 28, 1996), was the American co-creator, along with Joe Shuster, of Superman, the first of the great comic book superheroes and one of the most recognizable of the 20th century.

He was inducted into the comic book industry's Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1992 and the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1993.

Early career

The Superman (1933)
The Superman, produced by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in 1933, and forerunner to the character "Superman"

He attended Glenville High School in Cleveland, Ohio. At about age 16, while at Glenville, he befriended Joe Shuster. They shared a love of science fiction, adventure fiction, and movies.

Siegel wrote for his school's weekly newspaper, The Glenville Torch. One of his known works for that newspaper was Goober the Mighty, a parody of Tarzan. Joseph Shuster provided illustrations for some of Siegel's Goober stories. This was their first known collaboration as writer and artist.

Siegel graduated high school in June 1934. Unable to afford college, he worked various delivery jobs. In the summer of 1935, still living in Cleveland, he and Shuster began selling comic-book stories to National Allied Publications, the future DC Comics, in New York.

They came up with the idea to do their own comic strip. Hoping to sell it as a newspaper comic-strip. After years of failing to achieve this, Siegel and Shuster agreed to publish Superman in a comic book. In March 1938, they sold all rights to Superman to the comic-book publisher Detective Comics, Inc., another forerunner of DC, for $130 ($2,000 when adjusted for inflation).

Superman was immediately successful. Siegel moved into a house in University Heights and bought himself a car.


Super Sam strip
Comic strip written by Jerry Siegel and Ben Bryan, who were at the time, soldiers in the US Army

Siegel was conscripted into the US Army on June 28, 1943. He was trained at Fort George G. Meade, where he was trained as an "Airplane Engine Mechanic, a Film Editor, Motion Picture Cutter, Public Relations Man or Playwright (Motion Picture Writer) or Reporter". He was posted in Honolulu, where he was assigned a writing job at the military newspaper Stars and Stripes. He focused mainly on comedy columns. Siegel was discharged on January 21, 1946, at the rank of Technician 4th Grade.

After the war, Siegel settled in New York, eventually buying a house on Long Island.

DC Comics

During his first tenure at DC Comics (1935-1943), Siegel created the following characters:

  • Henri Duval, a French swashbuckler.
  • Doctor Occult, paranormal investigator.
  • Radio Squad, police serial.
  • Spy, serial starring the globe-trotting investigator Bart Regan and his female sidekick Sally Norris.
  • Superman, a costumed vigilante with superhuman strength
  • Superboy, a child version of Superman
  • The Spectre, a ghostly avenger

During his second tenure at DC Comics (1959-1966), Siegel created the following characters:

  • Bouncing Boy, a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes
  • Brainiac 5, a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes
  • Cosmic King, a adversary of the Legion of Super-Heroes
  • Duplicate Damsel, a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes
  • Invisible Kid, a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes
  • Matter-Eater Lad, a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes
  • Lightning Lord, a adversary of the Legion of Super-Heroes
  • Phantom Girl, a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes
  • Chameleon Boy, a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes
  • Saturn Queen, an adversary of the Legion of Super-Heroes


Siegel died on January 28, 1996, of a heart attack. He had been suffering from cardiac disease for years, and had had a bypass operation. he is buried at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Hollywood, Los Angeles County, California.

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