Before Marvel, before Captain America, before Simon and Kirby, and before comics there was Joe Simon. Born in 1913, the son of an immigrant tailor, he's been an artist all his life. A newspaper writer, photographer, and cartoonist, and the first editor at the company that became Marvel Comics, he was the man who hired Stan Lee for his first job. Entering the fledgling industry the year after Superman appeared, Simon instantly made a name for himself as a writer, artist, and editor. He and Jack Kirby created the iconic Captain America-their first blockbuster-before America entered World War II. More hits followed, including a bestselling military adventure series, the first romance comic created for an audience of young girls, and Simon's own satire magazine that was a favourite of Lenny Bruce. His exciting chronicle covers ten decades. It includes a stint in the Coast Guard during World War II, as well as his encounters with such colorful personalities as author Damon Runyon, prizefighters Max Baer and Jack Dempsey, comedian Don Rickles, Vice-President Nelson Rockefeller, and actors Caesar Romero and Sid Caesar. This is the comprehensive autobiography of an illustrator, an innovator, an entrepreneur, and a pioneer. Profusely illustrated with photography and artwork, much of it heretofore unseen, this is the chronicle of an American original.