The commune of Malakoff was created on 8 November 1883 by detaching its territory from the commune of Vanves. Its name was taken from an inn sign "A la Tour de Malakoff" (= "At the Malakoff Tower"); the inn was so named in 1855 to commemorate the Battle of Malakoff, fought during the Crimean War.
Henri Rousseau, called "The Customs Agent", (1844–1910), painter, took his nickname from the fact that his full-time job was as a collector of taxes (the octroi) at the Porte de Vanves in Malakoff.
Edmond Lachenal, (1855–1948), potter who opened his first pottery works (from 1880 to 1887) in the city.
Gaëtan Gatian de Clérambault (1872–1934), was a psychiatrist, an ethnologist, and a photographer. Lived in a beautiful villa in the rue Vincent Moris.
Pierre Curie (1859–1906) and Marie Curie (1867–1934) rented a house in the market street (rue du Marché, now called the rue Gabriel-Crié). In a shed on the property, they pursued some of their work with radium (1900 to 1904).
^Dictionnaire des noms de lieux de France (name on cover) alias Dictionnaire etymologique des noms de lieux en France (name on front endpaper), by A.Dauzat and Ch.Rostaing, publ. 1963 by Libraire Larousse