RIP Pete Marston, the Son of Wonder Woman Creator William Moulton Marston

petemarston

Moulton “Pete” Marston, the son of Wonder Woman creator William Moulton Marston and Elizabeth Holloway Marston, passed away on Tuesday. He was 88 years old. Aside from his parental connection to Wonder Woman, in recent years Pete had become well known in the fan community for his Wonder Woman Museum, comprised of a massive collection of memorabilia. Some items were old treasures from Pete’s own collection, but he was an avid collector as well and assembled a wide array of new material. Currently, there are nearly 4,000 items housed in the Wonder Woman Museum at his home in Bethel, Connecticut.

Outside of his impressive Wonder Woman collection, Pete spent most of his working years as a realtor, and he also built and renovated homes and worked in a variety of construction trades. He spent time in the merchant marine as well. Pete is survived by his wife, Olive Louise Marston, two siblings, three children, and five grandchildren.

A note from Pete’s brother Byrne in his official obituary offers an inside peek at Pete’s role in early Wonder Woman comics:

My brother Pete was always a man of enormous imagination. As a kid, he was a dreamer. When we were teenagers our dad, who was often under pressure to produce scripts for his Wonder Woman superheroine, offered $100 to anyone writing a usable scenario for a Wonder Woman episode. Though $100 was a fortune at that time, Pete was the only one of us who could dream them up.

Pete seemed to have had a good relationship with his father. On top of pitching plots for Wonder Woman, Pete also left Harvard in the mid-1940s to return home and help care for his father. William Moulton Marston had polio and cancer, and passed away in 1947. It’s lovely that Pete created such a testament to his father’s creation with his Wonder Woman Museum. The museum is also a testament to the women who raised him; Pete’s mother, Elizabeth, gave Marston the idea to create a female superhero, and the Marstons lived in a polyamorous relationship with Olive Byrne, who raised the kids (Marston had two with each woman) and also inspired key elements of Wonder Woman’s look and personality.

Regrettably, I never got the chance to interact with Pete directly, though his daughter Christie was a great help when I was researching Wonder Woman Unbound and I know that Pete had a big hand in the materials that she sent me and the recollections that she was able to share. By all accounts, he was a kind and warm man; everyone who visited the museum (a guest list that included Lynda Carter herself!) seemed to come away with an appreciation and affection not just for its myriad wonderful items but also for the man who assembled it all.

My deepest condolences to the Marston family during this sad time, and I hope that their grief is tempered somewhat by the knowledge that Pete lived a long and interesting life and that he’s remembered so fondly by Wonder Woman fans the world over. In lieu of flowers, Pete would like to have donations in his memory sent to the Bethel Police Benevolent Association (PBA), P.O. Box 169, Bethel CT 06801.

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