Superman’s Jewish Origins

Stand for Israel  |  November 1, 2021

Learn about Superman's Jewish Origins

Many of the superheroes that children of all ages still love today were created decades ago by Jewish people. From Captain America (Jack Kirby and Joe Simon) to Batman (Bob Kane and Bill Finger), so many beloved heroes came from the imaginations of our Jewish brothers and sisters. Like these superheroes, Superman comes from Jewish origins. Our superfriends at The Algemeiner report that the Jewish creators of Superman will be posthumously inducted into the Jewish American Hall of Fame for their contribution to comics and culture:

Superman’s Jewish origins come from Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, who developed the superhero as well as his companion characters Clark Kent, Lois Lane and others. It took them six years to find a publisher and they eventually sold their idea to DC Comics for only $130. Their comic strip became so popular that in 1939 Superman became the first superhero to be given his own self-titled comic book.

Siegel was born in 1914 in Cleveland, Ohio, to Jewish immigrant parents from Lithuania who fled their home country to escape antisemitism. Shuster was born the same year in Toronto to Jewish parents who hailed from the Netherlands and Ukraine. In 1924, Shuster’s family moved to Cleveland, where he met Siegel in high school and the two became friends.

Siegel died in 1996; Shuster in 1992. They will be inducted into the JAHF on Nov. 14 in a ceremony that will take place via Zoom. The event will include speeches by former US Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Elan S. Carr; Don Boozer, manager of the literature department at the Cleveland Public Library, which houses the largest collection of Superman memorabilia; sculptor Eugene Daub, who created the Siegel and Shuster JAHF plaque and medal; and others…

Want to learn more about Superman’s Jewish connection? Check out this #FlashbackFriday photo of actor Dean Cain dressed as the Man of Steel while visiting Israel in the 1990s.

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