January 17, 2014 5:25pm PT by Graeme McMillan
Siegel and Shuster Society to Give Back to Cleveland
In 1938, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster introduced the world to Superman, a character who has become synonymous with standing up for the little guy and doing the right thing. Now those inspired by their creation are planning to follow his example in the creators' hometown of Cleveland.
Last October, the state of Ohio started selling Superman-branded number plates to celebrate the character's 75th anniversary with $10 from each sale going toward the Siegel and Shuster Society, an organization created to honor the creators of the Man of Steel. With more than $18,000 collected from the sales as of last month, the organization is planning to share the wealth with those in need.
"Jerry and Joe would want us to help people, so that's what we're going to do with almost all of the money coming in from the plates," Irving Fine, cousin to the late Siegel and founding member of the Society, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "We're going to give it to worthy causes here in Cleveland."
In addition to donating money to the Salvation Army and local food banks, Society President Michael Olzsewski said that the organization -- which plans to change its name to the Siegel and Shuster Foundation to coincide with its new focus -- plans to "establish a fund with a college and an art school to give money to worthy writers and artists in the name of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster," adding that "the money would be used to train writers and artists in ways that Jerry and Joe could have never imagined."
2013 may have marked the 75th anniversary of Superman, but 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of both Siegel and Shuster. When asked what the two would think of their legacy, Olzsweski said, "I think they would be proud."