Bob with his sister, Ruth Marshall. Courtesy of David Marshall Billikopf. Bob Marshall Display by Amy Catania and Mary Hotaling, shown at History Day 2008. Click on the image to enlarge the display Topographic Map of Knollwood and the surrounding area that Bob Marshall drew in April of 1923.

Born: January 2, 1901

Died: November 11, 1939

Married:Bob never married.

Bob Marshall was six months old when he first came to the Adirondacks in 1901. His father, the prominent civil rights lawyer, Louis Marshall, one of the six founders of the Knollwood Club on Lower Saranac Lake. Here, far from the bustle of New York City, Bob Marshall spent his summers and learned a love of the great outdoors.

With the help of local guide and family friend, Herb Clark, Bob and his younger brother George Marshall climbed their first high peak, Ampersand Mountain, in 1916. Bob was just a teenager. In the next ten years, the Marshall brothers and Clark would explore huge sections of the most daunting uncharted territory of the Adirondacks, scaling all forty-six of the peaks over 4,000 feet, and starting an Adirondack tradition.

Bob Marshall the graduated from the New York State College of Forestry at Syracuse University in 1924. He received a Masters of Forestry from Harvard and a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University.

Marshall worked for the U.S. Forest Service and was the principle founder and early financial supporter of the Wilderness Society in 1935. He is known throughout the United States for his conservation efforts.

The Bob Marshall Wilderness, made up of over one million acres in northwestern Montana, was set aside in his name after his sudden death from a heart attack at the age of 38. 25 years after his death, the Wilderness Society speared the passage of the Wilderness Act, protecting some nine million acres of federal land.

Marshall authored many essays and articles as well as the books, The People’s Forests, Arctic Village, and Arctic Wilderness.


  • Phil Brown, Bob Marshall in the Adirondacks, Saranac Lake: Lost Pond Press, 2006