10 Mind-Blowing Facts About Iron Man

7. The Inspiration For Iron Man

Invincible Iron Man
2004 Getty Images

Tony Stark is well known for being a genius and eccentric playboy billionaire. It may seem crazy that such a character would have a real life inspiration but he does, and the weirdest part is that Iron Man is the toned down version.

When Stan Lee created Iron Man in 1963, he based the looks and personality of Tony Stark on famed reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes. Hughes was one of the richest men in the world at the time, having been everything from a business mogul to a film tycoon to whatever else he felt like doing that week and lived a similarly adventurous lifestyle to his counterpart, having set numerous world air speed records as a pilot (although none of those were set in a flying suit of armour... as far as we know).

Lee said that Hughes was "one of the most colourful men of our time. He was an inventor, an adventurer, a multi-billionaire, a ladies' man and finally a nutcase."

Howard Hughes was also known for his numerous mental issues, including OCD. Thankfully, Lee left those out when writing Iron Man.

The film version of Tony Stark also has a real world inspiration. Robert Downey, Jr based his performance on Tesla Inc founder Elon Musk, a man who is objectively better at playing astronauts than you are.

In this post: 
Iron Man
Posted On: 

I was just a mild-mannered NCTJ accredited journalist until one day I found out the truth... that I could share my nerdy ramblings with people on the internet! It's just like mumbling to myself on the train, but without all the strange looks.