In the comics, Uncle Ben with his wife May Parker had adopted Peter Parker before Peter became Spider-Man. He was first made in Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962) when he was killed by a burglar that Spider-Man could have stopped. This caused Spider-Man to fight crime as a superhero ever since.
Even though he wasn’t alive in Spider-Man’s story for long, Uncle Ben’s death has made him a very important character in the Spider-Man comics. He has often appeared in Spider-Man’s memories and visions.
Ben may have in fact first had a role in a story called, “Goodbye to Linda Brown,” also written and drawn by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. This story was in a comic called 'Strange Tales #97, which was released two months earlier than the first Spider-Man story. In it, Uncle Ben and Peter Parker’s Aunt May are shown as they are in the Spider-Man tales. Their first names are the same but their last names are never told. The story is about Linda Brown, May and Ben’s niece and adopted daughter who has to ride in a wheelchair. At the end of the story Linda turns out to be a mermaid (her fins were always covered by a blanket) and swims away to the ocean. This tale has not been kept in the Spider-Man’s main story line. Linda’s last name, Brown, shows that she most likely would have to be the daughter of a brother or sister other than Peter Parker's parents. The story was later printed again in the comic, Marvel Tales #83 in 1977. An editor opened it saying, "The resemblance is startling! Are these people the Parkers? Only Stan and Steve know -- and they're not talking!"