Dennis J. O’Neil was born in St. Louis, Missouri on May 3, 1939. He studied English literature, creative writing and philosophy at St. Louis University. He graduated in the early 1960s, and later served in the US Navy. After being discharged, O'Neil worked for a newspaper Cape Girardeau, Missouri, where his reports on the comic book industry connected him with comic writer Roy Thomas. O'Neil started his career in the comic book industry after Thomas started working at Marvel Comics, and suggested him to take the Marvel writing test.
Denny O'Neil died at the age of 81 on the night of June 11, 2020 from nautral causes. He had a wife named Marifran and a son named Lawrence.
O'Neil began working for Marvel Comics in the late 60s, becoming quickly involved with characters such as Doctor Strange in Strange Tales. He moved to Charlton Comics and started writing under the pseudonym Sergius O’Shaughnessy. When Charlton editor Dick Giordano moved to DC Comics, O'Neil followed him.
He returned to Marvel Comics in the 1980s, and worked in Amazing Spider-Man, introducing characters such as Madame Web and Hydro-Man to the Spider-Verse. He also scripted Daredevil and Iron Man regularly. In Iron Man, O'Neil bridged the gap between David Michelinie and Bob Layton's two runs. He famously had Tony Stark fall off the wagon and lose control of his company due to the machinations of Obadiah Stane, leading to Jim Rhodes taking the mantle of Iron Man until Stark's eventual return.
O'Neil also worked in Transformers, becoming the person who named Optimus Prime. During this time, he served also served in an editorial capacity on titles like Alpha Flight and Moon Knight. O'Neil then returned to DC. He also served as one of the directors of The Hero Initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping comic book creators, until his death.
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Links and References
- Cornelius, Luke (12 June 2020). Dennis O’Neil, Batman Writer and Editor, Dead at 81. Multiversity Comics. Retrieved on 12 June 2020.