Joanne Siegel: The Woman Behind Superman Dies

The woman who inspired the character from the “Superman” comic, Joanne Siegel dies, she was 93. Her husband, Jerome Siegel, modeled Lois Lane after the woman who eventually became his wife. The Cleveland native met the Man of Steel co-creator Siegel and his partner Joe Shuster when she was just 15 or 16. The teen had placed a classified ad in the local paper offering her services as a model. Shuster answered the ad, and the sketches he made were the basis of iconic Lois Lane.

“Superman,” introduced as a DC comic book in 1938, became one of the best-known superheroes of all time, but the writers were not credited. In 1978, with the Warner Brothers movie about to come out, DC finally added the co-creators’ names to every Superman story and agreed to pay a lifetime stipend.

After Jerome Siegel died in 1999, the Siegel and Shuster families filed for partial ownership of the character from Warner Brothers. Joanne Siegel could not leap tall buildings in a single bound, but she would end up doing something more important: preserving the legacy of the Superman creators.