The widow of Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel who also served as the model for Superman's love interest Lois Lane, Joanne Siegel died Monday at age 93.
According to Cleveland's Plain Dealer, Joanne Siegel met her future husband and fellow Superman co-creator Joe Shuster in Cleveland during the 1930s when she was a teen. Shuster contacted her after she placed an ad in the Plain Dealer offering to model, but she didn't realize that she would become the inspiration for Lois Lane.
There reportedly have been many Cleveland women claiming they were the basis for Lois Lane, but Jerry Siegel insisted it was Joanne, while admitting that some of the other women's traits may have influenced the character as well. However, Jerry Siegel and Shuster were not initially interested in comic books. They tried to sell Superman to newspaper syndicates but failed. They then turned to DC Comics, which bought the character, who made his first appearance in Action Comics No. 1 in 1938.
Ten years later, Jerry Siegel wed Joanne following his divorce from Bella Siegel.
But Jerry Siegel struggled in his career throughout the late 1950s and '60s, finding it hard to come by work as a comic-book writer. In the late 1970s, as Warner Bros. was gearing up to release a Superman movie, the Siegels convinced DC Comics to give the Superman creators a lifelong stipend.
Jerry Siegel died in 1999. Three years later, the Siegel and Shuster families filed for partial ownership of the character. In 2008, a federal judge ruled that the families do own a large share of Superman, but the litigation against Warner Bros. is ongoing.The Siegels' daughter, Laura Siegel Larson, is making the funeral arrangements her mother.