Skip to main content

Kirby, Jack

Jack Kirby, 1917–94, American comic-book artist famous for the strongly drawn, brilliantly colored, and surprisingly human superheroes and villains he created or co-created, b. New York City as Jacob Kurtzberg. Dropping out of school at 16, he worked briefly on Popeye cartoons and later produced strips for a newspaper syndicate. By 1940 he had teamed up with artist-writer Joe Simon and for 16 years, for such companies as Timely Comics and DC Comics, they produced a variety of strips and characters, e.g., Captain America, Boy Commandos. In 1958 Kirby joined Marvel Comics (the former Timely Comics) where, with writer-editor Stan Lee, he formed comic book's most fruitful partnership, resulting in such superhero classics as the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk, Mighty Thor, Silver Surfer, and X-Men, as well as the 1964 revival of Captain America. Kirby left Marvel in 1970, worked for DC creating New Gods and others, returned in 1975, and left again in 1978. From then until his retirement (1987) he created concepts and storyboards for animated films and worked on such independent comics as Captain Victory and Destroyer Duck.

See R. Ro., Tales to Astonish (2003), M. Evanier, Kirby: King of Comics (2008), and J. Morrow, ed., Kirby Five-oh!: Celebrating 50 Years of the King of Comics (2008); S. Howe, Marvel Comics (2012).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Kirby, Jack." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . 15 Oct. 2018 <>.

"Kirby, Jack." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . (October 15, 2018).

"Kirby, Jack." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved October 15, 2018 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.