San Diego Comic Con is always a fun event for fans and professionals alike, but the professional comics community was marked with sadness Sunday when Florence Steinberg, one of Marvel’s original founding employees passed away. According to CBR, her passing was reported by industry legend Larry Hama who released a statement about the circumstances via Facebook:
“I am grieved to report that ‘Fabulous’ Flo Steinberg passed away this morning after complications from a brain aneurism and metastatic lung cancer. She will be interred at the Jewish cemetery in Kerhonkson NY. We are making plans for a memorial in September or October. I will update on this page.”
Flo Steinberg began her career at Marvel during the Silver Age of comics after a job hunt in the “career-girl” fashion of that era. Back when Marvel management was a one man office she became the heart of the show as the first real staffer because the rest of the work was done freelance. She’s credited with describing the first real bullpen, the room where the comic legends put the artwork together. This later became a part of the Marvel mythos and a room where comics legends like Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby, and Don Heck were depicted working.
Steinberg’s work also extended to the fans as she was responsible for managing the “Merry Marvel Marching Society” and the letters page from the comics. While Steiberg initially left Marvel in 1968, she worked in Indy Comics before returning to Marvel in 2017 part time as a proof reader. Her replacement, journalist Robin Green, recalled the comics legend:
It was three years ago that I went to work at Marvel Comics. I replaced Flo, whose place I really couldn’t take. Fabulous Flo Steinberg, as she was known to her public, was as much an institution in Marvel’s Second Golden Age as Editor Stan (The Man) Lee himself. She joined Marvel just after Stan had revolutionized the comic industry by giving his characters dimension, character, and personality, and just as Marvel was catching on big.
As the Marvel Comics universe shifts and changes and new fans are added to the House of Ideas, it’s important to look back and remember the power of those who came before and their influence that they had in bringing comic books to life. It’s clear that the “Fabulous” Flo Steinberg inspired a generation of writers, editors, and other staffers at Marvel.
The Marvel Report extends it’s deepest condolences to Steinberg’s friends and family as well as Marvel Comics at large during this difficult time.