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Joe Shuster’s birthday

July 10, 2022 All day

Joseph “Joe” Shuster was a Canadian-American comic book artist best known for co-creating character Superman, with Jerry Siegel, in “Action Comics no.1.”

Joe was born July 10, 1914 in Toronto, Canada. He was the son of Julius Shuster (originally Shuster owich), an immigrant from Rotterdam, and Ida (Katharske), who had come from Kyiv, Ukraine.

Growing up, Shuster worked as a newspaper boy for the “Toronto Daily Star.” His family barely made ends meet, and the budding young artist would scrounge for paper, which the family could not afford. 

“I would go from store to store in Toronto and pick up whatever they threw out,” Shuster once recalled regarding his need for early art supplies. “One day, I was lucky enough to find a bunch of wallpaper rolls that were unused and left over from some job. The backs were blank, naturally. So it was a goldmine for me, and I went home with every roll I could carry. I kept using that wallpaper for a long time.”

Joe Shuster in 1939

The Toronto Daily Star inspired what is now known as the Daily Planet, which was co-created for Superman titles by Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel.

When Shuster was 9 or 10, his family left Toronto and moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where Joe would later meet friend and Superman co-creator, Jerry Siegel, in high school at 17. 

“When Joe and I first met, it was like the right chemicals coming together,” Siegel once said regarding his friendship with the similarly shy Shuster.

Eventually the duo started publishing a series of science fiction fanzines called “Science Fiction,” where the original Superman idea was born. Instead of featuring a strikingly handsome chiseled man, “Science Fiction” bore witness to a “super-man” that resembled today’s Lex Luthor.

In June 1938, the duo gave life to the world’s greatest hero… Superman, and the Planet’s greatest reporter, Lois Lane. Their legacy continues to inspire millions today. 

Shuster died July 30, 1992 at his West Los Angeles home of congestive heart failure and hypertension. He was 78.

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