John Romita Sr. might be best known for being a signature Spider-Man artist and for co-creating one of Marvel’s most enduring heroes, but he was much more than that. He was also a loving father and a husband.
John Romita Sr. passed away peacefully from natural causes. He was 93 years old. His son and fellow comic book artist John Romita Jr. shared the following statement:
I say this with a heavy heart. My father passed away peacefully in his sleep. He is a legend in the art world and it would be my honor to follow in his footsteps. Please keep your thoughts and condolences here out of respect for my family. He was the greatest man I ever met.
Romita was the artist who replaced Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko on The Amazing Spider-Man when he left the series in the mid-1960s, and brought renewed life and energy to the series. During his tenure on the book he co-created Mary Jane Watson and helped introduce characters like Kingpin and the Punisher. Later, he also helped co-create Wolverine’s original costume prior to his introduction in the pages of Incredible Hulk #181.
Born in 1930, Romita was raised in Brooklyn and got his start in comics in the 1950s. When romance books were popular, he became one of the genre’s defining artists; he brought that same flair to his work on Amazing Spider-Man.
He joined Marvel in the mid-1960s and had his first breakthrough there illustrating Daredevil. After Spider-Man did a guest-starring spot in the pages of Daredevil #16 and #17, Stan Lee gave him the gig replacing Steve Ditko as the main artist of Spider-Man. Romita remained with the book for years and helped redefine the looks of Peter Parker, Gwen Stacy, and the rest of the Spider-Man cast. Later, Romita became Marvel’s art director, and helped mentor younger generations of artists.
In a post to Instagram, Marvel wrote “John Romita Sr. was a pillar of the Marvel Universe, and his talent defined decades of Marvel’s most well-known stories and characters. He will be missed.