Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Joanne Siegel, Inspiration for Superman's Lois Lane, Dies at 93

Joanne Siegel in 1999 visiting the house in the Glenville neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio where her husband created Superman. She died February 14, 2011.   (The Plain Dealer/LandovJoanne Siegel, the inspiration behind Lois Lane and the widow of Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel, has died at the age of 93.

She was only a teenager during the Great Depression when she placed a classified ad seeking modeling jobs. That led to a meeting with Superman co-creators Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, her future husband, The Plain Dealer reports. Later, Siegel would say that it was Joanne who served as the muse for Superman's spunky love interest and fellow reporter at The Daily Planet, Lois Lane.Throughout her life, but especially in the later years after Jerry's death in 1996, Siegel fought very public court battles to win back a share of the rights to Superman. In 1938, Jerry Siegel and Shuster famously sold the rights to the comic hero to Detective Comics for just $130. Joanne and Jerry married in 1948, after he divorced Bella Siegel, according to the Cleveland newspaper.

In 2008, years of legal battles paid off for Joanne Siegel when a judge awarded a share of the copyright to the Siegel and Shuster families. Laura Siegel Larson, her daughter with Jerry Siegel, had also helped fight for the rights. "We were just stubborn," Joanne Siegel told The New York Times in 2008. "It was a dream of Jerry's, and we just took up the task."Brad Meltzer, a friend of the Siegel family and the author of "The Book of Lies," about the creation of Superman, announced Joanne Siegel's death on Twitter late Monday evening. "Just heard Joanne Siegel passed away. Lois Lane herself. One of the most beautiful people I ever met," he wrote.

via Joanne Siegel, Inspiration for Superman's Lois Lane, Dies at 93.

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