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Happy 75th Birthday, Superman!

Ian Walton/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Thursday marks the 75th anniversary of the first appearance of Superman. 

The iconic comic hero first appeared in Action Comics No. 1 on April 18, 1938, and has gone on to become one of the most recognizable figures in American pop culture.

Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster first created the character in the Cleveland neighborhood of Glenville, Ohio, and in 1938 famously sold the rights to their Kryptonian creation to DC Comics for just $130.  At the same time, the pair also sold other properties to the company.  The fruits of that arrangement, a check for $412, sold for $160,000 at auction in 2012.

Siegel and Shuster's Superman has since been featured in thousands of comic books, and fought for "Truth, Justice, and The American Way," on radio, in multiple TV series and cartoons, and in big budget Hollywood films.  The latest permutation, Man of Steel -- with Henry Cavill as the titular hero -- hits theaters in the U.S. on June 14.

In honor of the hero's diamond anniversary, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson is declaring April 18, 2013, "Superman Day," and a flag adorned with the hero's unmistakable "S" will be raised on the steps of Cleveland City Hall.  Additionally, the lights on the building and on the city's Terminal Tower will be changed to reflect the hero's blue, red and yellow uniform.

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