The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Don Marquis

Don Marquis (July 29, 1878 - December 29, 1937) was a writer, poet, and journalist; best known for creating the characters "Archy" and "Mehitabel". Archy was a cockroach who left poems on Marquis's typewriter by jumping on the keys, and Mehitabel was both a cat and a friend of Archy.

Donald Robert Perry Marquis was born 29 July, 1878, in Walnut, Illinois. His brother, David Marquis , died in 1892 at the age of 20, followed by his father's death in 1897. After graduating Walnut high school in 1894, he attended Knox College Academy in 1896, but left after three months.

He married Reina Melcher on June 8, 1909, with whom he had two children: a son, Robert Marquis (November 7, 1915 - 1921); and a daughter, Barbara Marquis (October, 1918 - October, 1931). Don and Reina were wed until she died on December 2, 1923. Three years later he married Marjorie Potts Vonnegut on February 2. 1926, and remained married to her until her death on October 25, 1936. He suffered three disabling strokes during his life, and died of a fourth stroke on December 29, 1937.

He cowrote (or contributed posthumously) to the films The Sports Pages , Shinbone Alley , The Good Old Soak , and Skippy. He also wrote a play called The Old Soak , drew cartoons for The New Yorker, and was a freelance columnist, humorist, and poet.

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Last updated: 10-29-2005 02:13:46