Born in 1914 in Cleveland, Ohio, Jerome Siegel was, as a teenager, a fan of the emerging literary genre that came to be known as science fiction. Together with schoolmate Joe Shuster, Siegel published several science-fiction fan magazines, and in 1933 they came up with their own science-fiction hero Superman. Siegel scripted and Shuster drew several weeks' worth of newspaper strips featuring their new creation, but garnered no interest from publishers or newspaper syndicates. It wasn't until the two established themselves as reliable adventure-strip creators at DC Comics that the editors at DC offered to take a chance on the Superman material provided it was re-pasted into comic-book format for DC's new magazine, ACTION COMICS.
Siegel wrote the adventures of Superman (as well as other DC heroes, most notably the Spectre, his co-creation with Bernard Baily) through 1948 and then again from 1959-1966, in the interim scripting several newspaper strips including Funnyman and Ken Winston. Jerry Siegel died in January, 1996.
Joseph Shuster was born in 1914 in Toronto, Canada. When he was nine, his family moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where Shuster met Jerry Siegel. The two became fast friends and collaborators; together, they published the earliest science-fiction fan magazines, where Shuster honed his fledgling art skills. In 1936, he and Siegel began providing DC Comics with such new features as Dr. Occult, Slam Bradley and Radio Squad before selling Superman to DC in 1938.
Influenced by such comic-strip greats as Wash Tubbs' Roy Crane, Joe Shuster drew Superman through 1947, after which he left comic books to create the comic strip Funnyman, again with Siegel. Failing eyesight cut short his career, but not before his place in the history of American culture was assured. Shuster died of heart failure on July 30, 1992.