Rev. Al Sharpton remembered Stan Lee as someone who championed civil rights and representation, "long before it became fashionable."
Lee, the legendary writer and editor who co-created such Marvel Comics characters as Spider-Man, Black Panther, Iron Man, the Avengers and the X-Men, passed away Monday at age 95.
TMZ caught up with Sharpton on Tuesday at the U.S. Capitol, where the civil-rights activist and talk-show host hailed Lee as someone with "a very compassionate commitment about poverty, about people that were being marginalized and left out."
"What he did by making heroes black and non-white and other went more toward changing the psychology of America than if he passed legislation in this building," he said, "because if you change how kids grow up thinking, they'll act different. And he helped change how Americans thought."
"He's one of the few Americans that all Americans can say he really touched our lives," said Sharpton, who named Black Panther as his favorite co-creation by Lee.
Sharpton suggested that, given his contributions to popular culture, Lee "earned [the right] to rest in peace."