He was the mind behind some of our greatest modern myths and legends — a creator and an inspiration. Though Stan Lee has passed away at the age of 95, the iconic mind will live on his characters and, more importantly, in his fans. The creator of Iron Man, The Avengers, The Fantastic Four, Spiderman, Daredevil, and the X-Men, he was a tremendous writer whose imagination knew no bounds — and who also felt a deep duty to those who treasured and lived through his work. “He felt an obligation to his fans to keep creating,” his daughter J.C. Lee said in a statement to Reuters. “He loved his life and he loved what he did for a living. His family loved him and his fans loved him. He was irreplaceable.”

Lee had a long history in the medium, starting at a publishing house working on comics at just 17, taking over as editor-in-chief by just 19. The passionate and playful man lived for his creations — embedded deep in the worlds that he created, it’s hard to imagine another comic book author or creator who is as synonymous with their work. He even makes a series of delightful cameos in the Marvel films and many of the TV shows.

But perhaps what’s most stunning about Lee’s work is his prolific mind — not just in his ability to create so many worlds and characters, but to have them all be engaging, moving, and whole. For him, it was second nature. “The hardest part is getting enough people to draw ’em all,” he told the Guardian. “You know what it’s like? I can’t play a musical instrument to save my life. I’ll ask, say, a guitarist friend how he plays a melody with one hand and chords with the other when he’s only got one brain. He’ll say: ‘Stan, I don’t even think about it, I’ve done it all my life, it’s what I do.’ Well, it’s the same with me. Writing stories is what I do. I think about it, but it’s no problem. I’ve just gotta get the time to do it.” Stan Lee

Though he will be missed, a man who has touched so many lives certainly won’t be forgotten.