Virtual International Authority File
The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1990s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities; this would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library and the OCLC on August 6, 2003; the Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012; the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, refers to the original authority records.
The data are available for research and data exchange and sharing. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting protocol; the file numbers are being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata. VIAF's clustering algorithm is run every month; as more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records. Authority control Faceted Application of Subject Terminology Integrated Authority File International Standard Authority Data Number International Standard Name Identifier Wikipedia's authority control template for articles Official website VIAF at OCLC
Fantastic Four (comic book)
Fantastic Four is the name of several comic book titles featuring the team Fantastic Four and published by Marvel Comics, beginning with the original Fantastic Four comic book series which debuted in 1961. As the first superhero team title produced by Marvel Comics, it formed a cornerstone of the company's 1960s rise from a small division of a publishing company to a pop culture conglomerate; the title would go on to showcase the talents of comics creators such as Roy Thomas, John Buscema, John Byrne, Steve Englehart, Walt Simonson, Tom DeFalco, Mark Waid, Jonathan Hickman. The Fantastic Four is one of several Marvel titles originating in the Silver Age of Comic Books, continuously published through 2015 before returning to monthly publication in 2018. Magazine and comic book publisher Martin Goodman, a publishing trend-follower, aware of strong sales on Justice League of America, directed his comics editor, Stan Lee, to create a comic-book series about a team of superheroes. According to Lee, writing in 1974, "Martin mentioned that he had noticed one of the titles published by National Comics seemed to be selling better than most.
It was a book called The Justice League of America and it was composed of a team of superheroes....'If the Justice League is selling', spoke he,'why don't we put out a comic book that features a team of superheroes?'" The release of The Fantastic Four #1 was an unexpected success. Lee had felt ready to leave the comics field at the time, but the positive response to Fantastic Four persuaded him to stay on; the title began to receive fan mail and Lee started printing the letters in a letter column with issue #3. With the third issue, Lee created the hyperbolic slogan "The Greatest Comic Magazine in the World!!" With the following issue, the slogan was changed to "The World's Greatest Comic Magazine!" and became a fixture on the issue covers into the 1990s, on numerous covers in the 2000s. Issue #4 reintroduced Namor the Sub-Mariner, an aquatic antihero, a star character of Marvel's earliest iteration, Timely Comics, during the late 1930s and 1940s period that historians and fans call the Golden Age of Comics.
Issue # 5 introduced Doctor Doom. These earliest issues were published bimonthly. With issue #16, the cover title dropped its The and became Fantastic Four. Kirby left Marvel in mid-1970, having drawn the first 102 issues plus an unfinished issue published in Fantastic Four #108, with alterations, completed and published as Fantastic Four: The Lost Adventure, Fantastic Four continued with Lee, Roy Thomas, Gerry Conway and Marv Wolfman as its consecutive regular writers, working with artists such as John Romita Sr. John Buscema, Rich Buckler and George Pérez, with longtime inker Joe Sinnott adding some visual continuity. Jim Steranko contributed several covers during this time. A short-lived series titled Giant-Size Super-Stars starring the team began in May 1974 and changed its title to Giant-Size Fantastic Four with issue #2. John Byrne joined the title with issue # 209. Bill Mantlo followed Wolfman as writer of the series and wrote a crossover with Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #42.
Byrne wrote and drew a giant-sized Fantastic Four promotional comic for Coca-Cola, rejected by Coca-Cola as being too violent and published as Fantastic Four #220-221 instead. Writer Doug Moench and penciller Bill Sienkiewicz took over for 10 issues. With issue #232, the aptly titled "Back to the Basics", Byrne began his run as writer and inker, the last under the pseudonym Bjorn Heyn for this issue only. Byrne revitalized the slumping title with his run. Byrne was slated to write with Sienkiewicz providing the art. Sienkiewicz left to do Moon Knight, Byrne ended up as writer and inker. Various editors were assigned to the comic. Byrne told Jim Shooter that he could not work with Budiansky, although they continued to work together. In 2006, Byrne said. I look back and I think, Shooter trying to force me off the book". Byrne left following issue #293 in the middle of a story arc, explaining he could not recapture the fun he had had on the series. Byrne was followed by a quick succession of writers: Roger Stern, Tom DeFalco, Roy Thomas.
Steve Englehart took over as writer for issues 304–332. The title had been struggling, so Englehart decided to make radical changes, he felt the title had become stale with the normal makeup of Reed, Sue and Johnny, so in issue #308 Reed and Sue retired and were replaced with the Thing's new girlfriend, Sharon Ventura, Johnny Storm's former love, Crystal. The changes increased readership through issue #321. At this point, Marvel made decisions about another Englehart comic, West Coast Avengers, that he disagreed with, in protest he changed his byline to S. F. X. Englehart. In issue # 326, Englehart was told to undo the other changes he had made; this caused Englehart to take his name off the book. He used the pseudonym John Harkness, which he had created years before for work he didn't want to be associated with. According to Englehart, the run from #326 through his last issue, #332, was "one of the most painful stretches of career." Writer-artist Walt Simonson took over as writer with #334, three issues began pencilling and inking as well.
With brief inking exceptions, two fill-in issues, a three-issue stint drawn by A
Deathblow is a fictional character in the Wildstorm Universe. He first appears in Darker Image # 1 was created by Brandon Choi. Michael Cray was born to Elizabeth Cray, he has a brother named Alexander. Michael Cray's daughter is Rachel Goldman, aka Sublime, a member of DV8. After his parents were slain by terrorists, he joins the US military to avenge their deaths, he became a Navy SEAL prior to being transferred to International Operation's newly formed Team 7. Like all members of that group, he was a experienced Special Forces operative; the team had been sent on a mission when in reality they were sent to be exposed to the Gen Factor by Miles Craven. Unlike the other surviving members of Team 7, Michael's powers did not manifest until many years later. Despite the lack of power, he would fight for his teammates, such as taking a Naval officer hostage when the other powered members of Team 7 were being nuked as a test; when the majority of Team 7 went underground, Cray continues to serve I. O..
Miles Craven assigns Cray to the Special Operations Group. He did many blackbag assignments for them. Michael Cray left I. O. when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He wanted to atone himself for all the innocent men and women he killed during his missions, he got his chance. Their adversary, the Black Angel, awoke a demonic entity bent on killing a young boy with miraculous abilities, it turned out that Cray's cancer was, in fact, a result of the Gen-Factor, giving him regenerative abilities. It would give him the ability to manifest psionic shields to protect himself, but he could not control it and was not aware it existed. Cray defeated the Black Angel with the help of Sister Mary, a former police officer turned nun, Gabrielle D'Angelo, his ex-wife who had become a vessel for the archangel Gabriel, several of his Team 7 colleagues. After the death of the Black Angel, the young child restored the damage he had done by rewriting reality, but in the new reality, Gabrielle had died during their honeymoon.
Michael spends time working for Rayna Masters, who ran a bodyguard agency called'Executive Protection Services'. Cray is involved in the Brothers In Arm incident as Craven goes after all the surviving members of Team 7. Cray deals with alien forces who are pursuing keys to an ancient warship. On a Team 7 mission long ago, Cray had found one of the keys sticking up out of the mud. Deathblow dies during the Fire From Heaven event, sacrificing himself in order to kill Damocles, the villain from that crossover. After the events of Captain Atom: Armageddon and the Worldstorm, Deathblow was revived and began starring in his own series, Deathblow Volume 2, written by Brian Azzarello with art by Carlos D'Anda. During World's End, he is part of Stormwatch: Post Human Division leading missions on a post-apocalyptic Earth. It's revealed that, despite being known as "powerless" in the Worldstorm continuity, his healing factor has evolved to a staggering level: because of his healing factor, he can't die because his body keeps regenerating himself after wounds deep enough to shut down his biological functions.
Jackson King suggested he could regenerate "from a scrap of DNA." In the three-issue mini-series, Deathblow Byblows, written by Alan Moore with art by Jim Baikie, it is revealed that I. O. created several variant clones of each Team 7 member, using the DNA collected from them without their knowledge. In the event of a Team 7 member's death, his clones are released in a simulated environment with the intention that only one survives to act as the member's replacement. However, the series is concerned with Deathblow's clones only; the clones were: Genevieve Cray — a bald female and the series' protagonist Klaus Cray — a cyborg John-Joe and Joe-John Cray — two child clones Michael Cray, Jr. — a true clone Damon Cray — a teenage clone Caleb Cray — half-man, half-baboon Judgment Cray — a clone with an extra Y chromosone Gemma Cray — an expert poisoner Cynthia Cray — a telepath and precognitiveAll were killed by Judgment except for Genevieve, who killed Judgment and escaped from the laboratory where they were created, Klaus Cray, captured by Genevieve and killed by John-Joe and Joe-John Cray.
Gemma and Michael Cray, Jr. are never shown alive due to being killed by Judgment Cray before the protagonists discovered them. Genevieve joined up with Sublime, Michael Cray's daughter, a few of her DV8 teammates. Deathblow appears for the first time in the DC reboot in Grifter's new series, making a team with Cheshire, but was betrayed by her revealing she was an undercover agent for Helspont. Captured in Helspont's spaceship, he managed to team up with Grifter to stop his plans. Deathblow appears in Teen Titans #23.2, "Deathstroke". He is first seen competing for an assassination with Deathstroke; the two men engage in combat, but Cray is overpowered and knocked down while Deathstroke finishes the job. He is seen in Deathstroke's flashback, where Cray has Wilson's back in a battlefield while Wilson sets off a bomb. However, the detonation site turns out to be a children's hospital, which led to Wilson's resignation from the army. A new Deathblow series began on October 2006, with the second issue out a month later.
Issue # 9 appears ending with the ` death' of the character. A 12-issue series titled "Michael Cray" was published by DC Comics under the Wildstorm imprint in 2017-2018; the series was issued as
Savage Dragon is a fictional superhero created by Erik Larsen, published by Image Comics and taking place in the Image Universe. The comic features the adventures of a superheroic police officer named the Dragon; the character first appeared as Dragon in Graphic Fantasy #1 and first appeared as the "Savage Dragon" in Megaton #3. The Dragon is a large, green-skinned humanoid whose powers include super-strength and an advanced healing factor, he is an amnesiac: his earliest memory is awakening in a burning field in Chicago, Illinois. Thus, for most of the series, the origins of his powers and appearance are a mystery to readers. At the beginning of the series, he becomes a police officer and battles the mutant criminal "superfreaks" that terrorize Chicago. Savage Dragon is one of only two Image Comics titles that debuted during the company's 1992 launch that continues to be published well into the late 2010s, the only one of the two that for most of its run, has been written and drawn entirely by its creator, for which Larsen has been lauded.
Savage Dragon is the longest running American full-color comic book to feature a single artist/writer. The character was adapted into an animated series, which ran for two seasons on the USA Network beginning in 1995. Savage Dragon was listed by Wizard as the 116th-greatest comic book characters of all time. IGN listed Savage Dragon as the 95th-greatest comic book hero of all time stating that he has the trappings of a great comic book hero. Like many of Erik Larsen's characters, the Savage Dragon was created by Larsen while he was a child in elementary school. In his youth, Larsen drew the Dragon in homemade comic books; the original Dragon, inspired by elements from Captain Marvel, Speed Racer and The Incredible Hulk, differs from the modern incarnation. After launching Savage Dragon in a professionally published comic book, Larsen returned to the original and reworked his designs into the characters William Jonson, a police officer ally of the Dragon, Flash Mercury, the "Spectacular Dragon".
Much a redesigned Savage Dragon was featured in two issues of Graphic Fantasy, a self-published title with a small print run, published by Larsen and two friends. In this incarnation, the Dragon was a widower and a retired member of a government-sponsored superhero team. Subsequently, the Dragon made another appearance in the third issue of Gary Carlson's Megaton anthology in its Vanguard strip, which Larsen had been drawing. In these appearances, the character of the Dragon remained the same as it had been in Graphic Fantasy, with a few details modified. Both the Graphic Fantasy and Megaton issues containing the Dragon have since been reprinted in high-quality editions. In 1992, when Larsen left Marvel to co-found Image Comics, he reworked the character for the new publication venture; this time, the Dragon was a massively muscled green amnesiac, who joined the Chicago police department after being discovered in a burning field. Debuting in a three-issue mini-series, the Savage Dragon comic book met with enough success to justify a monthly series, launched in 1993.
To this day, Larsen continues to write and illustrate the series by himself, has maintained a reasonably consistent monthly schedule in comparison with the other original Image Comics titles. Larsen has produced ancillary mini-series, sometimes allowed other creators to produce stories featuring the Dragon or other characters from the series. According to Larsen, the series is aimed at "older Marvel readers who are about ready to throw in the towel on comics altogether. It's the missing link between Vertigo. More mature than Marvel; the kind of comics to read. Book is self-indulgent." For the initial mini-series and the first 38 issues of the ongoing series, the Dragon was a full officer of the Chicago Police Department, partnered with officer Alex Wilde. Dragon and Wilde would have a casual sexual relationship, he received the name of "Dragon" from Nurse Ann Stevens, who would become a supporting character in Mighty Man. The Dragon was found in a burning field by Lt. Frank Darling. At the time, Chicago was being terrorized by villainous "superfreaks", namely the criminal gang called the Vicious Circle, led by the mysterious Overlord.
Realizing that the Dragon's superhuman powers would be a terrific boon to the police in battling the Vicious Circle, Darling asks the Dragon to join the police. At first, the Dragon takes a job in the warehouse of Darling's cousin. After a number of serious incidents, including the murder of the superhero Mighty Man and the brutal mauling of SuperPatriot, Darling takes drastic action, he pays Vicious Circle members to threaten his cousin in the hope that it will prompt Dragon to re-consider his offer. Although this achieves Darling's desired result, the two criminals and Hardware, kill Darling's cousin and detonate a bomb in his warehouse; the Dragon joins the police, but Darling is now under the thumb of the Vicious Circle, causing him to steer the Dragon away from Vicious Circle activities. The Dragon gains a girlfriend, Debbie Harris, only to see her shot dead in his apartment by her jealous ex-boyfriend Arnold Dimple; the Dragon falls into a deep depression as a result. Dimple returns to plague the Dragon on several occasions as the Fiend, who makes a deal with the Devil to gain supernatural powers.
As well as being kept away from Vicious Circle activities, the Dragon
The Fantastic Four is a fictional superhero team appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The group debuted in The Fantastic Four #1, which helped to usher in a new level of realism in the medium; the Fantastic Four was the first superhero team created by editor/co-plotter Stan Lee and artist/co-plotter Jack Kirby, who developed a collaborative approach to creating comics with this title that they would use from on. The four individuals traditionally associated with the Fantastic Four, who gained superpowers after exposure to cosmic rays during a scientific mission to outer space, are Mister Fantastic, a scientific genius and the leader of the group, who can stretch his body into incredible lengths and shapes. Since their original 1961 introduction, the Fantastic Four have been portrayed as a somewhat dysfunctional, yet loving, family. Breaking convention with other comic book archetypes of the time, they would squabble and hold grudges both deep and petty and eschewed anonymity or secret identities in favor of celebrity status.
The team is well known for its recurring encounters with characters such as the villainous monarch Doctor Doom, the Kree Empire's ruthless and tyrannical enforcer Ronan the Accuser, the planet-devouring Galactus, ruler of the Negative Zone, the sea-dwelling prince Namor, the spacefaring Silver Surfer, the Skrull warrior Kl'rt. The Fantastic Four have been adapted into other media, including four animated series and four live-action films. Apocryphal legend has it that in 1961, longtime magazine and comic book publisher Martin Goodman was playing golf with either Jack Liebowitz or Irwin Donenfeld of rival company DC Comics known as National Periodical Publications, that the top executive bragged about DC's success with the new superhero team the Justice League of America. While film producer and comics historian Michael Uslan has debunked the particulars of that story, Goodman, a publishing trend-follower, aware of the JLA's strong sales, did direct his comics editor, Stan Lee, to create a comic-book series about a team of superheroes.
According to Lee, writing in 1974, "Martin mentioned that he had noticed one of the titles published by National Comics seemed to be selling better than most. It was a book called The Justice League of America and it was composed of a team of superheroes....'If the Justice League is selling', spoke he,'why don't we put out a comic book that features a team of superheroes?'"Lee, who had served as editor-in-chief and art director of Marvel Comics and its predecessor companies, Timely Comics and Atlas Comics, for two decades, found that the medium had become creatively restrictive. Determined "to carve a real career for myself in the nowhere world of comic books", Lee concluded that, "For just this once, I would do the type of story I myself would enjoy reading.... And the characters would be the kind of characters I could relate to: they'd be flesh and blood, they'd have their faults and foibles, they'd be fallible and feisty, — most important of all — inside their colorful, costumed booties they'd still have feet of clay."Lee said he created a synopsis for the first Fantastic Four story that he gave to penciller Jack Kirby, who drew the entire story.
Kirby turned in his penciled art pages to Lee, who captions. This approach to creating comics, which became known as the "Marvel Method", worked so well for Lee and Kirby that they used it from on. Kirby recalled events somewhat differently. Challenged with Lee's version of events in a 1990 interview, Kirby responded: "I would say that's an outright lie", although the interviewer, Gary Groth, notes that this statement needs to be viewed with caution. Kirby claims he came up with the idea for the Fantastic Four in Marvel's offices, that Lee had added the dialogue after the story had been pencilled. Kirby sought to establish, more credibly and on numerous occasions, that the visual elements of the strip were his conceptions, he pointed to a team he had created for rival publisher DC Comics in the 1950s, the Challengers of the Unknown. "f you notice the uniforms, they're the same... I always give them a skintight uniform with a belt... the Challengers and the FF have a minimum of decoration. And of course, the Thing's skin is a kind of decoration, breaking up the monotony of the blue uniform."
The chest insignia of a "4" within a circle, was designed by Lee. The characters wear no uniforms in the first two issues. Given the conflicting statements, outside commentators have found it hard to identify with precise detail who created the Fantastic Four. Although Stan Lee's typed synopsis for the Fantastic Four exists, Earl Wells, writing in The Comics Journal, points out that its existence does not assert its place in the creation: "e have no way of knowing of whether Lee wrote the synopsis after a discussion with Kirby in which Kirby supplied most of the ideas". Comics historian R. C. Harvey believes that the Fantastic Four was a furtherance of the work Kirby had been doing and so "more Kirby's creations than Lee's", but Harvey notes that the Marvel Method of collabora
Tom DeFalco is an American comic book writer and editor, well known for his association with Marvel Comics and in particular for his work with Spider-Man. While in college, DeFalco "wrote for a few local newspapers, a weekly comic strip and did a few short stories", after graduation "got in touch with the various comic book companies", which led to him beginning his comics career as an editorial assistant with Archie Comics in mid-1972. During his tenure with Archie Comics, he "initiated and developed the Archie Comics Digest Series, still being produced today and remains the company's most profitable publishing series". Learning fast, DeFalco was soon writing for the flagship title Archie as well as for other titles including Scooby-Doo and Josie and the Pussycats, he joined Marvel Comics, with whom he would spend the next twenty years of his career. DeFalco wrote for DC Comics in the late 1970s, he scripted several Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane stories for the Superman Family title. DeFalco moved to Marvel, where he wrote two issues of The Avengers and the final five issues of Machine Man plus a Machine Man issue of Marvel Team-Up, before launching Dazzler in March 1981.
DeFalco wrote a Machine Man limited series in 1984, with art by Herb Trimpe and Barry Windsor-Smith. DeFalco was the chief designer and author for Dazzler, became one of the writers for the Spider-Man comic book series while at the same time rising through the editorial ranks. While writing Dazzler, he wrote a couple of issues of Marvel Team-Up, before taking over from Dennis O'Neil as editor of that title, as well as assuming editorial duties on Ghost Rider, What If...? and the Spider-Man titles, which he edited throughout the early 1980s. DeFalco worked with toy manufacturer Hasbro in the early 1980s, heading the creative team that "produced the backstory and dossiers that served as the basis for the relaunch of the phenomenally successful G. I. Joe toy line and animated television show", in 1985; as part of this relaunch, Marvel produced a comic titled G. I. Joe: A Real American Hero in June 1982. DeFalco edited the first six issues, as well as assorted issues of the G. I. Joe series' throughout the 1980s.
The core G. I. Joe: A Real American Hero series would run for 155 issues over the next 12 years. DeFalco was "part of the creative team that introduced the Transformers to the American public" in 1984. In August 1983, DeFalco wrote the first four issues of the third series of Red Sonja and after shedding his Spider-Man editorial duties to Danny Fingeroth, he took over from Roger Stern as writer of The Amazing Spider-Man; the two collaborated on April–May's #251-252, before DeFalco took over with #253, for a two-year run, chiefly in collaboration with artist Ron Frenz. Concurrent with editing Jim Shooter's Secret Wars, DeFalco introduced Spider-Man's "black costume" in the pages of Amazing. DeFalco co-created the Rose, Black Fox, Silver Sable during his tenure on the series. DeFalco and Frenz were both removed from The Amazing Spider-Man by Spider-editor Jim Owsley, who stated that they had chronically failed to meet deadlines. DeFalco and Frenz both state they met their deadlines more diligently than any other Marvel creative team at the time, that Owsley caused them to miss deadlines by changing his production schedules.
Issue # 285 was their final issue. While writing Amazing, DeFalco continued editing various comics. After co-writing two issues of Fantastic Four, DeFalco took over writing duties on Thor with #383 in September. DeFalco became Marvel's tenth Editor-in-Chief on April 15, 1987; this change was effective in comics cover-dated November 1987. He served from 1987 to 1994; the only Editors-in-Chief with longer service than him were Stan Lee and Joe Quesada. Early in DeFalco's run as editor-in-chief, executive editor Mark Gruenwald remarked, "Tom does not seem to have as strong a personal vision for Marvel, as a result he's more open to other people's visions, it remains to be seen if that's good or bad." In an interview with The Comic Book Gazette, DeFalco described his experiences as Editor-in-Chief as being "A lot like those old Bullpen Bulletins comic strips, but with more yelling!"He was a key member of the management team that took Marvel public, under his leadership, Marvel's net profits from publishing rose by over 500%.
Under DeFalco's guidance, Marvel entered a phase of expansion that provided an opportunity for "new talent" to enter the comic book industry, released a number of new titles with original characters. After clashing with the company's upper management, DeFalco was forced out in 1994. During his tenure as Editor-in-Chief, DeFalco had continued to write as well, with noted runs on Thor where he created the New Warriors with artist Ron Frenz and the spin-off Thunderstrike, as well as Fantastic Four as well as for Marvel children's comic imprint Star Comics; some believe. Defalco was one of the writers on the "Maximum Carnage" storyline in 1993, his dismissal from the position of Editor-in-Chief coincided with a run on The Spectacular Spider-Man, after which he returned to The Amazing Spider-Man in January 1996 for issues #407-439. During this time he helped co-write the Spider-Clone Saga which revealed that Peter Parker was a clone of the original that had
St. Louis is an independent city and major inland port in the U. S. state of Missouri. It is situated along the western bank of the Mississippi River, which marks Missouri's border with Illinois; the Missouri River merges with the Mississippi River just north of the city. These two rivers combined form the fourth longest river system in the world; the city had an estimated 2017 population of 308,626 and is the cultural and economic center of the St. Louis metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in Missouri, the second-largest in Illinois, the 22nd-largest in the United States. Before European settlement, the area was a regional center of Native American Mississippian culture; the city of St. Louis was founded in 1764 by French fur traders Pierre Laclède and Auguste Chouteau, named after Louis IX of France. In 1764, following France's defeat in the Seven Years' War, the area was ceded to Spain and retroceded back to France in 1800. In 1803, the United States acquired the territory as part of the Louisiana Purchase.
During the 19th century, St. Louis became a major port on the Mississippi River, it separated from St. Louis County in 1877, becoming an independent city and limiting its own political boundaries. In 1904, it hosted the Summer Olympics; the economy of metropolitan St. Louis relies on service, trade, transportation of goods, tourism, its metro area is home to major corporations, including Anheuser-Busch, Express Scripts, Boeing Defense, Energizer, Enterprise, Peabody Energy, Post Holdings, Edward Jones, Go Jet and Sigma-Aldrich. Nine of the ten Fortune 500 companies based in Missouri are located within the St. Louis metropolitan area; this city has become known for its growing medical and research presence due to institutions such as Washington University in St. Louis and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. St. Louis has two professional sports teams: the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball and the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League. One of the city's iconic sights is the 630-foot tall Gateway Arch in the downtown area.
The area that would become St. Louis was a center of the Native American Mississippian culture, which built numerous temple and residential earthwork mounds on both sides of the Mississippi River, their major regional center was at Cahokia Mounds, active from 900 to 1500. Due to numerous major earthworks within St. Louis boundaries, the city was nicknamed as the "Mound City"; these mounds were demolished during the city's development. Historic Native American tribes in the area included the Siouan-speaking Osage people, whose territory extended west, the Illiniwek. European exploration of the area was first recorded in 1673, when French explorers Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette traveled through the Mississippi River valley. Five years La Salle claimed the region for France as part of La Louisiane; the earliest European settlements in the area were built in Illinois Country on the east side of the Mississippi River during the 1690s and early 1700s at Cahokia and Fort de Chartres. Migrants from the French villages on the opposite side of the Mississippi River founded Ste.
Genevieve in the 1730s. In early 1764, after France lost the 7 Years' War, Pierre Laclède and his stepson Auguste Chouteau founded what was to become the city of St. Louis; the early French families built the city's economy on the fur trade with the Osage, as well as with more distant tribes along the Missouri River. The Chouteau brothers gained a monopoly from Spain on the fur trade with Santa Fe. French colonists used African slaves as domestic workers in the city. France, alarmed that Britain would demand French possessions west of the Mississippi and the Missouri River basin after the losing New France to them in 1759–60, transferred these to Spain as part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain; these areas remained in Spanish possession until 1803. In 1780 during the American Revolutionary War, St. Louis was attacked by British forces Native American allies, in the Battle of St. Louis; the founding of St. Louis began in 1763. Pierre Laclede led an expedition to set up a fur-trading post farther up the Mississippi River.
Before Laclede had been a successful merchant. For this reason, he and his trading partner Gilbert Antoine de St. Maxent were offered monopolies for six years of the fur trading in that area. Although they were only granted rights to set-up a trading post and other members of his expedition set up a settlement; some historians believe that Laclede's determination to create this settlement was the result of his affair with a married woman Marie-Thérèse Bourgeois Chouteau in New Orleans. Laclede on his initial expedition was accompanied by Auguste Chouteau; some historians still debate. The reason for this lingering question is that all the documentation of the founding was loaned and subsequently destroyed in a fire. For the first few years of St. Louis's existence, the city was not recognized by any of the governments. Although thought to be under the control of the Spanish government, no one asserted any authority over the settlement, thus St. Louis had no local government; this led Laclede to assume a position of civil control, all problems were disposed i