G.I. Joe Creator Stanley Weston Passes Away at 84

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By: Michaela Bush

Stanley Weston, G.I. Joe creator and licensing pioneer, passed away on May 1st at the age of 84. According to his daughter, Cindy, his death resulted from surgery complications.

Weston filled a large demand with the idea of G.I. Joe action figures, and almost anyone today would still recognize the brand, now as a collectible. They were hugely popular, raking in millions of dollars for Hasbro. Marvel Comics even released a comic series – and then later a TV show – titled G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. However, Weston’s 1963 invention of the male action figures and dolls (inspired by the Barbie doll) was largely credited to Don Levine. Weston’s attempts to revert credit for the creation of G.I. Joe back to himself weren’t resolved until 2016.

A true renaissance man, Weston not only conceived the idea of G.I. Joe figures, he also worked for Marvel Comics as a licensing agent, was a veteran of the Korean War, and also started the company Leisure Concepts. This company represented stars, one of whom was Farrah Fawcett. Additionally, he was the co-founder of the TV programming company ACTV and was a writer and photographer. He was an artist and worked on several covers for wrestling magazine The Ring. As someone very much interested in wrestling, many of his articles and magazines focused on such. To top it all off, he also dabbled in publication.

For his work in the licensing business, Weston was among the first inducted into the Licensing Industry Hall of Fame, even before Walt Disney and George Lucas.

Weston is survived by three children, five grandchildren, and his brother Jay. Jay stated in a 2012 Huffington Post article that, “Stan once told me a story, about how he was introduced at a convention as ‘The Father of G.I. Joe,’ and a young boy came up to him and said, ‘Thank you. Joe made me a better student and a better boy.’ That’s probably worth more in the realm of heaven than any royalty.”

Header Photo via The Hollywood Reporter


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