Cleveland is Krypton– The True Birthplace of Superman
Tip of the hat to Anne Trubek at the Smithsonian online magazine for her nifty article on Cleveland, the true birthplace of Superman. For those not in the know, the myth of comicdom’s biggest hero began in suburban Cleveland. While many are familiar with the names Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, many don’t know much about their humble beginnings. Back in 1933, two sons of Jewish immigrants conceived the origins of the Man of Steel. Living in Glenville, minutes from the bustling city (as Trubek notes, Cleveland at the time was the fifth most populous city in the country!), these two funnies-addicted men built what would become perhaps the single most recognized icon in comic books.
However, the fine folks of Cleveland have done little in the way of promoting their city as the birthplace of the Last Son of Krypton. In fact, when Joanne Siegel wanted to donate her husband’s typewriter, among other artifacts, to the city, not a single Cleveland-ite stepped up to accept. The home of Joe Shuster was torn down. If not for the hard work of comic critic Michael Sangiacomo and comic/novel scribe Brad Meltzer, Siegel’s home might not even be standing today. With much of the home in disrepair, the remaining legacy of Siegel and Shuster was seemingly doomed, much like Krypton. Meltzer and Sangiacomo formed the Siegel and Shuster Society, and raised over 100,000 dollars to help restore the home to its former glory. But since then, not much else has been done. The now-restored home is still used as a residence, and Cleveland has done little in the way of homage to the men who gave us the world’s first superhero.
No need for us to rewrite Anne’s thoughts, though. Click on the link above, and follow the continuing Superman saga. We must say we agree wholeheartedly that the city of “King James” should be reclaimed for Kal-El.