Lex Luthor is a charming philanthropist and polymath, and the owner of a massive network of businesses, the flagship of which is LexCorp.
An incredibly private man, little is known about his early life. Luthor came from a wealthy family, but was orphaned at the age of 14 when his parents were killed in a car crash. Luthor took over his first business at the age of 21, with rumors that the take-over was hostile. He had been at one point married to, and subsequently split up with, Dr. Ariana Carlin.
In the present day, Luthor is the third richest man in the world, behind businessman Arthur Chow, of Hong Kong, and Elena Pappas, of Athens, Greece, with a net worth of over $20 billion, and an annual income of an additional $2 billion. Luthor owns or has a stake in numerous businesses, corporations, and philanthropic ventures around the world, including The Luthor Home for Homeless Children, Lex*Tel Communications, The Lexor Hotel,and Luthor Technologies.
However, despite the charm he exudes to the public, Luthor is secretly a ruthless and power-hungry individual involved in many criminal enterprises. Luthor also has an obsessive hatred of Superman, who routinely foils his schemes. To this end, financial gain, or the defeat of Superman, are more often than not the motives behind his illegal actions. Luthor's schemes have included the sabotaging of the Project Pegasus space laboratory in order to propel his own privately-owned laboratory, to funding the creation of a group of fighters with motorized prosthesis which he hoped to use to defeat Superman in combat.
A solitary person, Luthor has no close friends or family. He does share some connection with his right-hand man, Nigil St. John, and, to a lesser extent, his consultant Asabi. However, it is always very clear in their interactions that St. John and Asabi are still employees of Luthor, and not equals. Luthor is also a ladies man, and has had a number of romantic interests, including Lois Lane and Dr. Antoinette Baines.
Luthor is killed by falling from the balcony of his top floor penthouse. Later on, he is brought back from the dead and loses his hair due to the re-animation process.
- This version of the character is exclusive to the continuity of the television series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and is an adaptation of Luthor. The original character was created byJerry Siegel and Joe Shuster and first appeared in Action Comics #23.
- Lex Luthor was portrayed by John Shea.
- Unlike other version of Lex Luthor, he has a full head of hair for the majority of the series. The actor, John Shea, addressed this by stating "Hey, this is the '90s. Do you think a billionaire like Luthor couldn't get himself a full head of hair?" Though he had hair to begin with, until he lost it upon his revival from the dead, which only increased his hatred of Superman.