“Fabulous Flo” Steinberg, a popular figure in Marvel universe thanks to her role as Stan Lee’s secretary in 60′, has died, she was 78. According to close friend and fellow comic book writer Larry Hama, Steinberg died Sunday morning of complications from a brain aneurysm and metastatic lung cancer. “We are incredibly saddened to fear of Flo Steinberg’s passing and send our deepest condolences to her friends and family. Flo has always been the heart of Marvel and a legend in her own right. She will be forever missed and always loved by all of us here at Marvel” Marvel said in a statement.
Absolutely gutted to hear about the passing of the First Lady of Marvel, Flo Steinberg. A fine person. pic.twitter.com/9QVKkeoLhD
— Tom Brevoort (@TomBrevoort) July 23, 2017
Steinberg made a name for herself as editor Lee’s sidekick during Marvel’s Silver Age. The pair were only 2 full time staff members and Steinberg cemented her place in the “Marvel Bullpen” as both secretary to Lee and fan liaison.
She left Marvel in the late 60′ after the company refused to grant her a raise, but she put her knowledge to good use on her own, publishing her own independent comic book, “Big Apple Comix,” in 75′ and speaking frequently at comic book conventions. Her career at Marvel came full circle when she returned in 90′ to work as a proofreader. According to Marvel’s vice president and executive editor Ryan Penagos, Steinberg was still coming in to proofread at time of her death. Steinberg’s impending legacy at legendary company was evident from the beginning. In 71′, journalist Robin Green, who took Steinberg’s place when she left, wrote of Flo in Rolling Stone, “I replaced Flo, whose place I really could not take. Fabulous Flo Steinberg, as she was known to her public, was as much an institution in Marvel’s Second Golden Age as Editor Stan Lee himself.” After news of Steinberg’s death broke, Dan Slott, a comic book writer who currently pens “The Amazing Spider-Man,” released a statement calling her passing “a hard hit.”
— Dan Slott (@DanSlott) July 23, 2017
“Flo was there at the start of Marvel, working in the office with Stan, and practically no one else. The infamous ‘Marvel Bullpen’ grew around them. To me, Flo was my neighbor, a good friend, and someone I was very proud to know… Comics has lost one of its most genuine and caring people today” Slott wrote. Penagos also had some kind words for the woman who helped make his company what it is today. “Flo was funny and snarky and warm and the best. I only knew her over the last 10 years, but she truly was Fabulous Flo” he wrote on Twitter.