Earlier this week on Monday, November 17, 2008, Stan Lee was among the recipients of the National Medal of Arts and the National Humanities Medal at the White House. This honor, given to artists and art patrons, is considered the highest presented by the United States government.
The medal, known as the most prestigious in its field, was presented to Lee by President Bush. “I feel very honored, very surprised,” Lee said. “When I first got the phone call, I thought it was a gag. I’d heard of it but didn’t know much about it. I’d heard of the NEA. But it was just a name.”
Well deserving of the medal, Lee created, co-created, and re-created superheroes that include icons like the Incredible Hulk, Captain America, and X-Men. He has helped to create hundreds of other comic book characters, including the incredibly popular Spider-Man.
Lee was given the award along with Olivia de Havilland, Best Actress Academy Award winner of To Each His Own and The Heiress. Others who were awarded include jazz pianist Hank Jones, sculptor Jesús Moroles, and songwriting brothers Robert B. and Richard M. Sherman.