9 November 1865
Dornum, East Frisia,
Kingdom of Hanover
|Died||14 September 1929
New York City, New York
|Other names||Minnie Palmer|
|Children||Manfred Marx (1885-1886)
|Relatives||Al Shean (brother)|
Marx was born Miene Schönberg in Dornum, Germany. Her parents Fanny née Salomons (1829–1898) and Levy "Lafe" Schönberg (1823–1919) were members of the local Jewish community. Her mother was a yodeling harpist, her father a ventriloquist, both made a bare living by entertaining people on funfairs. Her younger brother Abraham Elieser Adolf "Al" was born in 1868. About 1880 the family emigrated to New York City, where Minnie married Samuel "Frenchie" Marx in 1884.
While managing the Marx Brothers, she also went under the name of Minnie Palmer, so that booking agents would not know that the agent representing the Marx Brothers was actually their mother. She played the harp as did her mother and her son, Harpo Marx. All the brothers confirmed that Minnie Marx had been the head of the family and the driving force in getting the troupe launched, the only person who could keep them in order, and a hard bargainer with theatre managements.
Marx and some of her sons appear briefly as characters in Glen David Gold's novel Carter Beats the Devil; the narrative identifies her as Minnie Palmer, and only gradually offers clues that the struggling vaudeville act traveling with her are the later-famous Marx Brothers. Marx (played by Shelley Winters) was also the main character in the Broadway musical Minnie's Boys.
- "Chronology". The Marx Brothers. Retrieved 2013-09-20.
- "Minnie Schoenberg Marx (1865 - 1929) - Find A Grave Photos". Findagrave.com. 2004-07-07. Retrieved 2013-09-20.
- "Ancestry of the Marx brothers". Wargs.com. Retrieved 2013-09-20.
- "Mrs. Minnie Marx.; Mother of four Marx brothers, musical comedy stars, dies". New York Times. 1929-09-16.