The story of Superman started on June 2, 1932, when Michel Siegel was robbed in his second-hand clothing store not far from his home. He died later that night of a heart attack.
The youngest of his six children, a gangly, 16-year-old comic-book fan and budding artist named Jerry, began to fantasize about how his father might have been saved, said Bradley Ricca, who teaches a Superman course at Case Western Reserve University.
The next year, in a cramped bedroom, the young Mr. Siegel imagined a bulletproof "Man of Steel" whose superpowers were cloaked under the mild-mannered guise of a bumbling alter-ego. According to lore, Mr. Siegel sprinted nine and a half blocks to the apartment of his friend, Joe Shuster, to describe his vision. Mr. Shuster began to draw the first renditions of the square-jawed hero.
In 1938 the first Superman comic strip was published. It sold out immediately.
For more on this story read it in the Wall St. Journal.