LEGENDARY writer, editor and publisher Stan Lee has died.

The Marvel Comics publisher - who brought to life iconic characters including Spider-Man, X-Men, Thor, Iron Man, Black Panther and the Fantastic Four - died early Monday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

It comes after TMZ reported that an ambulance was dispatched to Lee's home in Hollywood Hills.

His cause of death is not yet known, although he had suffered several illnesses over the last year, including a bout of pneumonia.

Stan Lee gave us some of the world’s most iconic superheroes. Picture: Supplied
Stan Lee gave us some of the world’s most iconic superheroes. Picture: Supplied

According to the Hollywood Reporter Lee died early on Monday morning (local time) at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles.

Lee - who was born Stanley Liebman - began his career in comics in 1939 when he became an assistant at Timely Comics, which would later evolve into Marvel Comics.

He was appointed editor of the magazine in 1941 and held the position until 1972, when he became publisher.

Lee is credited with helping to usher in a new era of superhero storytelling, which went on to wield an enormous influence over the movie business.

In the late 50s, bored with the output of the company and with nothing to lose, he began experimenting with a new style of flawed, more human superheroes.

Lee created countless characters in his years working in comics. The first superhero group he dreamed up (alongside artist Jack Kirby) was the Fantastic Four - Mister Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch and Thing.

Stan Lee's wife of 69 years, Joan, died last year. Picture: Getty Images
Stan Lee's wife of 69 years, Joan, died last year. Picture: Getty Images

As Lee once told the Washington Post: "I used to be embarrassed because I was just a comic-book writer while other people were building bridges or going on to medical careers.

"And then I began to realise: entertainment is one of the most important things in people's lives. Without it they might go off the deep end. I feel that if you're able to entertain people, you're doing a good thing."

Marvel characters are famous the world over, and its films have dominated the box office for years.

Despite his worldwide success, Lee certainly had his own troubles.

Although the blockbuster movies made his characters worth billions, the publisher always maintained he saw very little of that wealth.

As of 2018, Lee's estimated wealth was about US$50 million (A$69.5 million).

Stan Lee pictured in Sydney in 2017. Picture: AAP
Stan Lee pictured in Sydney in 2017. Picture: AAP

In more recent years, the illustrator had endured a difficult run.

He had a rocky relationship with Marvel once it began churning out Hollywood movies, and sued the company in 2002 for royalties he claimed were owed for the first Spider-Man movie.

The case was settled three years later for US$10 million (A$13.9 million)

After Joan, his wife of 69 years, died in July 2017, he sued executives at POW! Entertainment - a company he founded in 2001 to develop film, TV and video game properties - for $US1 billion ($A1.3 billion) for fraud, before dropping the lawsuit just six weeks later.

Lee also sued an ex-business manager and filed a restraining order against a man who had been looking after his affairs.

Then, in June 2018, it was revealed that the Los Angeles Police Department had been investigating reports of elder abuse against him.

He is survived by his daughter J.C. His wife of 69 years, Joan, died in 2017.

Just yesterday, Lee tweeted about Veterans Day in the United States, thanking veterans for their service and throwing in a cheeky fact. More than 31,000 people liked that tweet.

Celebrities and fans have already taken to Twitter to pay their respects.