Like many of the early and really great comic book artist Eugene Jules "Gene" Colan started drawing very early on. Born September 1, 1926 in New York City he created his first work of art at the age of three. Growing up in Bronx/Upper East Side the "Coulton Waugh" adventure comic strip "Dickie Dare" published in the New York Sun became a major influence during his childhood. After graduating from George Washington High School he studied at Art Students League of New York and started working for Fiction House in 1944. His civil life was interrupted by a short period of military service until 1946, whe he joined Timely Comics – Marvel's predecessor. Stan Lee hired him on the spot as "staff penciler" paying for a weekly wage of 60 US$. It took some time for Gene Colan to be mentioned in the credits though, and a lot of his work from that time remains unidentified. From 1948 on he also worked as a freelancer for National Comics (later: DC), an agreement he kept up until the 60s. Under his pen name "Adam Austin" Colan finally created his first superhero for Marvel: "Sub-Mariner", who had his first appearance in "Tales to Astonish". He soon became one of Marvel's top Silver Age artists. Stan Lee offered him important characters like Captain America, Doctor Strange and Daredevil, all of which he continually imbued with his personal style altough Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko were the "role models" suggested by Lee. Despite the immense respect he had for his chief editor Stan Lee he said: "If you want Stevie Ditko then you'll have to get Stevie Ditko." His idea to create an afro-american hero was born when the American civil rights movement set in in the 60s. The result: "The Falcon". Next to his work for Marvel, Colan also published a few black and white stories at Warren Publishing. In the 1970s he drew the complete Marvel horror series The Tomb of Dracula and most issues of "Howard the Duck". After a deep rupture with Marvel's new chief editor Jim Shooter he left the publisher in the 80s, moving once more over to DC, where Batman and a few other Charaters waited to be formed by his special style. He had often worked with Marv Wolfman before who had also written most issues of The Tomb of Dracula in the 70s. This series was revived by the team the Marvel miniseries "The Curse of Dracula" (July–Sept. 1998) which later moved on to Dark Horse. Vampires kind of had him in their grasp and so Gene Colan even drew a one-shot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: "Tales of the Slayers" in 2001 as well as the last episode of "Blade" Vol. 3 #12 (Oct. 2007). Either series had some 70s flashbacks which were kind of his speciality. Althouhg very ill, he kept working until 2009: 40 pages of Captain America #601 (Sept. 2009) earned him an Eisner Award for "Best Single Issue". Respect!
Source: marvel.com and others (http://marvel.com/images/gallery/story/8706/images_from_preview_captain_america_601_bw_variant/image/463089)