Shana - ESL Teacher
Stan Lee changed the world of comics and today we all marvel at his achievements. Learn all about them and his life in this episode.
To hear the life of Stan Lee, start listening to the audio at 9:25.
Stanley Lieber was born in New York City on December 28, 1922. His parents were Romanian, having immigrated to the U.S. shortly before his birth in search of opportunity. Back in those days, there was a lot of talk about the American Dream. You could come to the US and turn your life around. If you felt like a nobody back home, you could become a somebody, however difficult your situation may be. Success and a nice house with a picket fence were just around the corner.
At least that was the idea of the American Dream. And no doubt about it, the early 20s were a wonderful time to be in the US. For the first six years of Stanley’s life, New York City was a pretty okay place to be. His family had an apartment, and while his father earned wages at a fabric cutting company, his mom, Celia, stayed home to take care of Stan. When the stock market crashed in 1929, everything changed. That was the beginning of the Great Depression, a time of intense economic struggle for many families across the US, including the Liebers. When Stan’s father lost his job, they had to downsize from their already small apartment to one the size of a shoebox in order to make ends meet.
Stan said that his parents slept on a foldout couch they shared in the living room, while Stan and his brother Larry shared the bedroom.
The hardship within the household was really a blessing in disguise. Celia put a lot of pressure on Stan to succeed. Good grades for her meant a good job and a good income to support the family. From a young age. He started picking up part-time gigs here and there to pay for the small expenses he had.
He worked as an usher at the movies. He delivered sandwiches. He was an office boy for a trouser manufacturer. The list goes on.
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Shana - ESL Teacher
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