Comic book writer Gary Friedrich has passed away at the age of 75. Friedrich's nephew Chris Friedrich wrote about his uncle's passing on Facebook.
After getting his start writing romance comic books for Charlton, Friedrich was an early recruit to Marvel Comics in the 1960s as assistant editor thanks to his high school friend (and then-Marvel editor) Roy Thomas. The Missouri-born creator quickly made a name for himself as the writer of Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos, then moving into superhero comics writing issues of Incredible Hulk, Uncanny X-Men, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Daredevil, and more.
His best known Marvel work was as the writer and co-creator of Ghost Rider alongside artist Mike Ploog and editor Roy Thomas. He also co-created the character Son of Satan based on a suggestion from Stan Lee.
His credit for co-creating Ghost Rider later became a matter of contention; Friedrich, Ploog, and Marvel's then editor-in-chief Roy Thomas all disagree about who came up with which aspects of the character. A series of lawsuits between Marvel and Friedrich over Friedrich's believed right to financial compensation for Ghost Rider's creation and his right to sell Ghost Rider merchandise ended in out-of-court resolution.
Following his time at Marvel, Friedrich also wrote for Topps Comics and Atlas/Seaboard Comics before leaving the industry altogether. In 2010, he was honored with the Will Eisner Comic Industry Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Writing.