Marshall, Donald S. 1919–2005

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Marshall, Donald S. 1919–2005

(Donald Stanley Marshall)

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born September 10, 1919, in Danvers, MA; died of kidney failure, August 28, 2005, in Alexandria, VA. Army officer, anthropologist, and author. Marshall was a retired army colonel who also studied Polynesian cultures and later went on to become an authority on war and civil defense as well as a museum publications editor and research director. Marshall was working as a photography studio manager when the United States entered World War II. After enlisting in the army, he was stationed in Panama for a time, and it was here that his interest in indigenous peoples was sparked. After the war, he studied anthropology at Harvard University, earning a B.A. in 1950, M.A. in 1951, and Ph.D. in 1956. During much of the 1950s, he worked for the Peabody Museum as a researcher stationed in Polynesia, where he gained particular knowledge of the Mangaia people inhabiting the Cook Islands. This research would lead to two books: Ra'ivavae: An Expedition to the Most Fascinating and Mysterious Island in Polynesia (1961) and the coauthored A Dictionary of Some Tuamotuan Dialects of the Polynesian Language (1964). In 1959 Marshall founded the research and publishing firm Far Lands House, which specialized in anthropology. At the time, he was an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve, and when war in Vietnam began to escalate he returned to active duty in 1963. He also worked on the General Staff in Washington, DC, and was an assistant for Vietnam for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, among other duties. During the early 1970s, Marshall, who had risen to the rank of colonel, became an expert on military defense and was deputy director of the Pentagon's Strategic Arms Limitations Treaty (SALT) task force. His last three years of active duty, before retiring in 1976, were spent as a special assistant for policy to the assistant secretary of defense. Among his military medals, he earned the Bronze Star, Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Army Commendation Medal. After leaving the military, Marshall continued to work on civil defense as executive director of the Military Conflict Institute. Next, he spent the 1980s collecting and organizing papers for the Vietnam Project at the University of California at Berkeley. From 1990 until 2000, he served as director of publications and research covering the area of Oceania for the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts; he also edited the periodical Neptune. In addition to his authored works, Marshall was editor of the books Songs and Tales of the Sea Kings (1957) and Human Sexual Behavior: Variations across the Ethnographic Spectrum (1971), the latter co-edited with Robert C. Suggs. At the time of his death he was editing a book about hieroglyphics.



Washington Post, September 7, 2005, p. B6.