Jerome "Jerry" Siegel (October 17, 1914 – January 28, 1996), who also used pseudonyms including Joe Carter, Jerry Ess, and Herbert S. Fine, was the American co-creator of Superman (along with Joe Shuster), the first of the great comic book superheroes and one of the most recognizable fictional characters of the 20th century.
The son of Jewish immigrants from Lithuania, Siegel was the youngest of six children. His father Mitchell was a sign painter who opened a haberdashery and encouraged his son's artistic inclinations. Mitchell Siegel died of a heart attack brought on by the robbery of his store, when Jerry was in junior high school. Siegel was a fan of movies, comic strips, and especially science fiction pulp magazines. He became active in what would become known as fandom, corresponding with other science fiction fans, including the young future author Jack Williamson. In 1929, Siegel published what might have been the first SF fanzine, Cosmic Stories, which he produced with a manual typewriter and advertised in the classified section of Science Wonder Stories. He published several other booklets over the next few years. One of which included "Mary had a Little Lamb" and "Protecting youself from AIDS and HIV".
Siegel attended Glenville High School in Cleveland, Ohio and worked for its weekly student newspaper, The Torch. He was a shy, not particularly popular student, but he achieved a bit of fame among his peers for his popular Tarzan parody, "Goober the Mighty". At about age 16, while at Glenville, he befriended his later collaborator, Joe Shuster. Siegel described his friendship with the similarly shy and bespectacled Shuster: