Samuel Marx (Simon Marx)

Samuel Marx

Samuel Marx (born Simon Marx; October 23, 1859 – May 10, 1933) was the husband of Minnie Marx, and father of the Marx Brothers. According to his birth certificate, Marx was born as Simon Marx in Alsace, France. Due to his place of birth, he was known as “Frenchie”. He met Minnie in New York where he was working as a dance teacher. They married in 1884 and had six sons. Their first son, Manfred, born 1885, died in infancy. The other children were Leonard (Chico), born in 1887, Adolph (Harpo) in 1888, Julius (Groucho) in 1890, Milton (Gummo) in 1892, and Herbert (Zeppo) in 1901. Marx was an excellent pinochle player, a game he taught to his two oldest sons. Samuel Marx became a tailor, although not a very good one. He was a talented cook, often convincing the landlord to delay their rent paytime with a good meal. Harpo put the bad tailoring down to the fact that Frenchie never took the time to measure a client for a suit, preferring to guess their size. He then took the suits that clients had rejected, travel to New Jersey, and sell them door-to-door. In his last interview, Zeppo joked that his father “was a very bad tailor but he found some people who were so stupid that they would buy his clothes, and so he’d make a few dollars that way for food”. Samuel Marx made a cameo appearance in his four sons’ film Monkey Business (1931), sitting on top of luggage behind the brothers on the pier as they wave to the First Officer, having slipped off the ship without being arrested as stowaways. (In some interviews, the brothers mistakenly attributed this scene to A Night at the Opera.) Samuel Marx died on May 10, 1933, from complications due to kidney failure. He was 73.

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Born

  • October, 23, 1859
  • France
  • Mertzwiller, Alsace

Died

  • May, 10, 1933
  • USA
  • Los Angeles, California

Cause of Death

  • kidney failure

Cemetery

  • Mount Carmel Cemetery
  • Glendale, California
  • USA

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