Flo's photograph first appeared in Marvel Tales Annual # 1, 1964.
Flo worked for Marvel Editor-in-Chief Stan Lee as his "Corresponding Secretary" (what would be known today as an Administrative Assistant) during the early years of Marvel Comics' superhero period. Flo's not only worked directly for Stan Lee, but also assisted production manager Sol Brodsky. Her duties in the office included making appointments, taking phone calls, handling freelancers and reading mail, but also the important details of getting the "trains to run on time"; directing traffic for comic book production and making sure artists, inkers and letterers were getting jobs in on time; getting the stories to the Comics Code for approval and checking in with the printing plant. There were a lot of balls to juggle, but according to all accounts Flo did this with patience and professionalism.
Jeddak III, November 1963.
Yancy Street Journal # 4, September 1964.
Yancy Street Journal # 5, November 1964.
The Web-Spinner # 3, November 1965.
Yancy Street Journal # 11, November 1965
Flo became a familiar name to fans due to the many letters she wrote to fanzines from 1963-65. That, coupled with Stan Lee's recognition in the comic books, in letters and editorial pages, where he bestowed the title "Fabulous Flo" on her. It was highly unusual in those days for anyone outside of the creative talent (even their names were often anonymous at many companies) to be recognized, but Flo was an exception.
In addition to letters, Flo also provided a few scoops for the fanzines, including the announcement of the Giant-Man feature being dropped for the Sub-Mariner in Tales To Astonish. Yancy Street Journal # 7, undated but likely January 1965.
I've never heard a harsh word spoken about Flo by anyone working for Marvel (or elsewhere), including the many freelancers who spoke to her when they came in to bring work to Lee or Sol Brodsky. In her position Flo had to be part Baseball manager and part psychiatrist; she had the ability to deal with sensitive creators; straight-forward business people, messengers, fans and anyone else who walked in the door during working hours at Marvel.
Flo was employed at Marvel from 1963-1968, when the company was growing and expanding in popularity. She returned in the 1990s, working as a proofreader, which she continued on a part-time basis until her passing. Flo occasionally gave interviews but discovered that some in the fan press only wanted to "get the dirt" on company affairs and she was vehemently against that. In public she refused to badmouth anyone. Flo was frank in explaining that while she enjoyed what she was doing, there was no glamour involved and she didn't see herself as a celebrity - it was a job. Like anyone in a business setting I'm sure she liked some people and didn't care for others, but she had no interest in gossip.
Flo's one and only foray into publishing occurred In 1975. Big Apple Comix included contributions from a number of her friends, including Herb Trimpe, Linda Fite and the great Wally Wood.
In the past decade or two I've had the pleasure, through Timely-Atlas expert (and my good friend) Michael J. Vassallo, to spend time with Flo at lunches and dinners, often accompanied by Barry Pearl (part of that notorious group of scholars and wiseguys known as the Yancy Street Gang). I think she enjoyed our company because we didn't pester her with questions on what went on in the office on a certain day, or what Stan Lee was "really like", instead we often spoke about everyday concerns. Flo appreciated the fact that we treated her like a person instead of a celebrity.
Flo garnered attention not just because of a perceived familiarity through the pages of Marvel Comics; that fragile illusion could never hold up this long. There was something more that came through in her dealings with fans, both through correspondence and in person, that wasn't phony.
Flo Steinberg passed away on July 23, 2017.
I'll miss you, Flo.