Paul Sackman Marx

1 March 1949 – 28 December 2013

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Herbarium (NCU) curates about 30 vascular plants collected by Paul S. Marx, who usually signed his labels as “P. Marx”. As we continue to catalog specimens it is possible we will find more collected by him.

Marx’ specimens are curated by many herbaria across North America including Arizona State University (ASU), Auburn University (AUA), Austin Peay State University (APSC), Brigham Young University (BRY), Chadron State College (CSCN), Northern Arizona University (ASC), Eastern Kentucky University (EKY), Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (FTG), Florida State University (FSU), George Mason University (GMUF), Gray Herbarium, Harvard University (GH), Institute for Botanical Exploration (IBE), Utah State University (UTC), James F. Matthews Center for Biodiversity Studies (UNCC), University of Texas at Austin (LL & TEX), Mississippi State University (MISSA), Rhodes College (SWMT), Southeastern Louisiana University (SELU), Texas A&M (TAES), Towson Univeristy (BALT), University of North Alabama (UNA), University of Calgary (UAC), Florida State University (FLAS), University of Georgia (GA), University of Kansas (KANU), University of Northern Colorado (GREE), University of South Alabama (USAM), University of South Carolina, Columbia (USCH), University of South Florida (USF), University of Tennessee, Knoxville (TENN), University of Texas, El Paso (UTEP), University of Wisconsin, Madison (WIS), Valdosta State University (VSC), Western Illinois University (MWI), and William & Mary (WILLI).  Herbaria curating large numbers of Marx’ specimens include University of Louisiana at Monroe (NLU; transferred to BRIT in 2017), Desert Botanical Garden (DES), Louisiana State University (LSU), and Missouri Botanical Garden (MO).  R. Dale Thomas (NLU) and Laurence J. Dorr (US) were frequent co-collectors on his specimens.1

Paul Sackman Marx was born in Monroe, Ouachita Parish, Louisiana on 1 March 1949.  He was the son of Carol Elizabeth Lewis Marx and Isaac Sackman Marx.2

“Paul attended Lexington Elementary School, Lee Junior High and graduated from Neville High School in 1967. He attended LSU [Louisiana State University] and ULM [University of Louisiana, Monroe] where he received his Master of Science Degree. Paul continued his doctoral studies in Botany at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.”2

“Paul and I rented a house together in Hillsborough, North Carolina, for the 1979-1980 academic year,” recalls Dr. Paul Gabrielson. “We rented Dirk & Susan Frankenberg’s house while Dirk was doing a stint at the National Science Foundation.  Dr. Dirk Frankenberg was a professor of Marine Sciences at UNC-Chapel Hill.  Paul Marx was a student of Dr. Cliff Parks in the Botany Department at UNC-Chapel Hill.  He worked on Carex, and according to our classmate, Phillip Rury, Paul did lots of chromosome squashes on that genus.  He became an avid kyaker.  To my knowledge Paul did not complete his Ph.D., but instead went into business, and worked at Great Outdoor Provision Company.”3 According to his obituary, “his main passion was sailing and working on sailboats.2

Paul Marx died of lung cancer on 28 December 2013, and is survived by his wife, Mary Dossett Marx, his 3 children, Joseph Marx of Charlotte, North Carolina, Elizabeth Marx of Bethesda, Maryland, and Peter Marx of West Point, New York.  “Dearest friend Dean Benjamin of Ventura, California will sail Paul’s path to Anacapa Island and spread [Marx’] ashes in the Pacific Ocean.”2

The family requested memorials in honor of Paul Marx be made to LifeShare Blood Center (Shreveport, Louisiana), M.D. Anderson Thoracic Center (Houston, Texas), Emmanuel Baptist Church (Monroe, Louisiana), and Temple B’Nai Israel (Monroe, Louisiana).2


Publications (possibly incomplete list):
Thomas, R. Dale and Paul S. Marx.  1979.  Notes on three species of Ophioglossum from North Carolina.  SIDA 8(1): 113.
Thomas, R. Dale, Paul S. Marx, and David Lawson.  1974.  Two Adder’s-Tongues new to Missouri.  American Fern Journal 64(4): 119-120.
1.  SERNEC Data Portal. 2022. http// Accessed on May 05.
2.  Obituary, Paul Sackman Marx.
3.  Personal Communication:  Paul Gabrielson emails to McCormick, 10-12 April, 2022.