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Lois Lane inspiration Joanne Siegel passes

NYT reports that Joanne Siegel has passed away at the age of 93. Joanne was a Cleveland teen during the Depression and was the model used by Joe Shuster to create the Lois Lane character.

A high school girl with an ambitious nature and stars in her eyes, young Joanne, like teenagers everywhere, was seeking a way to earn some money when she posed for the first time as Lois Lane. It was probably 1935, her daughter said, and “somebody had told her modeling was easy,” so she placed a brief ad in the classified section of The Plain Dealer, declaring herself available for modeling work and confessing that she had no experience. Most of the responses to the ad were requests for dates, but one at least seemed serious, and she presented herself to Shuster and Siegel, who were then developing Superman. (The first Superman comic was published in 1938.)

In any case, during the modeling session Joanne struck various poses – draping herself over the arms of a chair, for example, to show how she might look being carried by Superman in flight – and she and the two men, who were barely in their 20s, became friends. Shuster’s drawings reproduced her hairstyle and her facial features, though in the most famous of the original drawings, Lois is considerably more voluptuous than her model was.

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