Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Crime That Created Superman

David Colton, USA TODAY:On the night of June 2, 1932, the world's first superhero was born - not on the mythical planet of Krypton but from a little-known tragedy on the streets of Cleveland. It was Thursday night, about 8:10 p.m., and Mitchell Siegel, a Jewish immigrant from Lithuania, was in his secondhand clothing store on the near East Side. According to a police report, three men entered. One asked to see a suit of clothes and walked out without paying for it. In the commotion of the robbery, Siegel, 60, fell to the ground and died.The police report mentions a gunshot being heard. But the coroner, the police and Siegel's wife said Siegel died of a heart attack. No one was ever arrested. What happened next has exploded some of the longest-held beliefs about the origins of Superman and the two teenage boys, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, who invented America's best-known comic-book hero.Prototype: Unpublished 1933 Superman proposal by Siegel and Shuster shows hero foiling a robbery.


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