Oliver Gettell
July 23, 2017 AT 05:17 PM EDT

Florence “Flo” Steinberg, the Marvel Comics fixture who served as Stan Lee’s secretary during the Silver Age of the 1960s and helped establish the company as a pop-culture powerhouse, has died.

Marvel confirmed the news Sunday, releasing a statement that said, “We are incredibly saddened to hear of Flo Steinberg’s passing and send our deepest condolences to her friends and family. Flo has always been the heart of Marvel and a legend in her own right. She will be forever missed and always loved by all of us here at Marvel.”

In the early days of Marvel, Steinberg — affectionately referred to as “Fabulous Flo” — was the company’s only other staffer alongside editor-in-chief Lee, and she was instrumental in managing day-to-day affairs and responding to fan mail. She left the company in 1968, went on to publish the early independent comic book Big Apple Comix in 1975, and returned to Marvel as a proofreader in the 1990s (a duty she occasionally performed even in her later days).

Steinberg’s death was mourned by many friends and colleagues on social media. Amazing Spider-Man and Silver Surfer scribe Dan Slott wrote, “Flo was sweet and kind, but wouldn’t hold back her thoughts on any subject, and always had a few choice words about the state of Marvel, good or ill. I’m going to miss her so much. Comics has lost one of its most genuine and caring people today.”

Lee tweeted a tribute to Steinberg on Monday, writing, “Flo Steinberg was my 1st secretary @ Marvel. To most others it was just a job, to Flo it was her life’s work. Her passing is a great loss.”

He also attached a panel from a 1978 What If comic featuring Steinberg as a member of the Fantastic Four.

See more tributes below.

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