Access and Provenance

Biographical Sketch

Scope and Content Note

Box and Folder Listing


A Finding Aid to the

Merle Judith Marcus Papers

Manuscript Collection No. 483

1929-1966 1.2 Linear ft.


The MERLE JUDITH MARCUS PAPERS were donated to the American Jewish
Archives by her father, Dr. Jacob Rader Marcus, after Ms. Marcus' death 
in 1965. Dr. Jacob Rader Marcus, by the act of donating the MERLE JUDITH 
MARCUS PAPERS to the American Jewish Archives, assigned property rights 
to the Archives.  All literary rights to the materials are held by the 
individual  authors or his/her heirs. Questions concerning literary or 
copyrights should be addressed to the Director of the American Jewish 

The MERLE JUDITH MARCUS PAPERS are open to all users.  The original manuscript
collection is available in the reading room of the American Jewish Archives.


Merle Judith Marcus was the only child of Dr. Jacob Rader Marcus and 
Antoinette Brody Marcus. She was born in Cincinnati in 1929 and attended 
public schools and the Isaac M. Wise Temple Religious School. She also 
attended the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music and 
Columbia University. In 1952, She received a B.A. from Barnard College in 
New York City.

Ms. Marcus acted and sang in light opera and stage musicals.  She also 
performed in night clubs and on television, and attempted a career as an 
actress.  When she realized that acting was not her forte, she began 
selling shows and eventually was in sales for various hotel corporations 
in the Washington, DC Area  and in  Los Angeles. At the time of her death 
she was the district sales manager for the Sheraton Hotels in Los Angeles.

In the early morning of February 11, 1965 she died in a fire in her apartment
in Los Angeles. She was preceded in death by her mother in 1953.


The MERLE JUDITH MARCUS PAPERS (1929-1966) consist of correspondence,
performance programs, school papers, personal items, probate  records, 
and photographs.  Of special interest in the collection is the correspondence 
between Merle Marcus and her father,  Dr. Jacob Rader Marcus.  The bulk of 
the collection spans the years 1950-1965 and is divided into four series 
as follows:

               SERIES B: PERSONAL
               SERIES C: PHOTOGRAPHS

Series A, Correspondence consists of personal letters with friends and family. 
Of significance is the correspondence between Merle Marcus and her father,  
Dr. Jacob Rader Marcus, well-known rabbi and historian and the founder of the 
American Jewish Archives.  In the early 1960's, Dr. Marcus often wrote his 
daughter describing the work he was doing and his daily activities, but from 
1963 until her death in 1965, he wrote more regularly, usually once a week.  
The letters contain details about his activities and interests.  Span dates 
for the correspondence series are 1940-1965.

The materials in Series B, Personal, consist of Ms. Marcus' school papers, 
poetry she wrote, sketches for her comedy nightclub and stage acts, programs 
from various productions in which she appeared, her senior yearbook from 
Walnut Hills High School, and probate and funeral records connected with her 
untimely death. There is also a copy of a commemorative booklet about her 
life published by her father in 1965. Span dates for Series B are 1929-1965.

Series C, Photographs, consists  mainly of snapshots of the Marcus family at 
home and on vacation during the late 1930's through the 1940's.  There are 
also several portraits of both Merle Marcus and Dr. Marcus.

The organizational records in Series D consist of a file of minutes, bulletins 
and nearprint from two Jewish organizations that Merle Marcus belonged to in 
the late 1940's, Young Judea and the Zionist Youth Organization.  Span dates 
for this series are 1945-1947.


Box  Folder         Contents


1    1         Personal correspondence            1940-1949
     2         Personal correspondence            1950-1962
     3         Merle Marcus to Jacob Marcus       1957-1964
     4         Jacob Marcus to Merle Marcus       1950-1965


2    1         Misc. personal papers              1929-1965
     2         School papers                      1943-1947
     3         Walnut Hills High School Yearbook  1947
     4         Stage and comedy materials         1950's - 1960's
     5         Contracts and business papers      1957-1963
3    1         Accident                           1964
     2         Probate records                    1965-1966
     3         Funeral service registration book  1965
     4         Commemorative booklet              1965

     5         Family photographs and snapshots   1930's-1940's


     6         Young Judea                        1945-1947
     7         Zionist Youth Organization         1947