John Romita Senior started drawing after spending a year in commercial art. His first jobs were for Stan Lee's Atlas group in 1949. Romita drew mostly horror and romance stories, but also several war, western and crime features for Western Publishing. After the folding of Atlas, he went to National, where he did anonymous romance stories for eight years. He then went back to Stan Lee, this time at Marvel. His first works were inking 'Avengers' and pencilling 'Daredevil' comics.
His most notable work became the 'Amazing Spider-Man' comic, which he did from 1966. Under Romita's and Lee's guidance, 'Spider-Man' became the quintessential antihero of the late 1960s and early 1970s. He left the 'Spider-Man' comic in the early 1970s, to become an art director at Marvel, working specifically in the Special Projects Department. Romita Sr. was engaged in product illustration and special designs and as Art Director for Marvel Books, the short-lived children's book line. In 1977, he briefly did the artwork of the syndicated 'Spider-Man' newspaper comic. His son, John Romita Jr., is also a talented artist for Marvel.