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M. M. Marks, Once Borough President, Dies

August 28, 1934
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Funeral services will be held at 3 o’clock this afternoon at Ethical Culture headquarters, 2 West Sixty-fourth street, for Marcus M. Marks, who was President of the Borough of Manhattan from 1913 to 1917. Dr. John Lovejoy Elliott of the Society will officiate. Burial will take place in Salem Fields, Brooklyn.

Mr. Marks died of euremia Sunday night in Doctors Hospital, East Eighty-seventh street and West End avenue. He had been in the hospital since his return from his camp near Blue Mountain Lake in the Adirondacks. His health had been failing for several months. He was seventy-six years old.

Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Esther Friedman Marks; two sons, Erich H. and Warren L. Marks, and two daughters, Mrs. Bernice M. Stearns and Mrs. Doris M. Dreyfuss.


Mr. Marks was active in civic and philanthropic affairs. In 1913 the City Fusion Party nominated him for Aldermanic President. He defeated his Democratic opponent, Dr. Thomas Darlington, by 129,269 votes to 104,140. While in office he founded the first three open markets in the city, was responsible for forming a new joint trial board for the trial of civil service employes and helped organize welfare work among municipal employes. In 1917 he ran for reelection but was defeated. While in office he started advocating the introduction of daylight saving time in New York State.

Mr. Marks also was interested in immigration. He devoted much time to the subject when Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, then Governor of New York State appointed him to the New York State Immigration Commission. He also organized the National Association of Clothiers and was its president for ten years. He helped arbitrate 125 strikes.


He was born in Schenectady, N. Y., on March 18, 1858, the son of David and Leontine Marks. He received all his education in New York City and was graduated from the College of the City of New York. Afterwards he joined his father’s clothing firm. He retired at the age of forty-five.

Mr. Marks was founder and former vice-president of the Educational Alliance. He also helped found the Tuberculosis Preventorium for Children, now in Farming-dale, N. J. He was president of the institution for several years.


Commenting on Mr. Marks’ death, Louis Lande, chief examiner in the office of Aldermanic President. Bernard S. Deutsch and for many years an associate of the former Manhattan Borough President in philanthropic and civic affairs, yesterday made the following statement:

“The East Side has lost a great man in the death of Mr. Marks. He was one of the first men to retire from business at an early age, to devote the rest of his life to works of education, philanthropy and reform in politics.

“He was one of the organizers of the Educational Alliance and of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association. His main work, however, was in arbitrating industrial disputes. In 1913 he was appointed by President Wilson as one of the arbitrators to settle the great railroad strike in this country. Both Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Taft offered to appoint him postmaster of New York City but he declined.


“In 1907 he, together with myself, had a bill enacted into law for the protection of immigrants who sent their money abroad. In 1910 he was chairman of the Janitors Society of the East Side, the object of which was to improve conditions of East Side janitors, who were at that time poorly paid and badly treated, particularly as they were compelled to live in cellars.

“In 1913 he was elected the first Jewish Borough President of Manhattan and had a great deal to do with improving conditions on the East Side.

“He appointed a committee known as the East Side Commission, of which Miss Lillian D. Wald was chairman and of which I was secretary, whose object it was to press all needed improvements on the East Side to a conclusion.

“Mr. Marks had a host of friends and no enemies.”

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