American psychologist, inventor, and comic book creator (1893-1947). He was born in Cliftondale, Massachusetts, obtained a law degree in 1918, and earned a Ph.D. in Psychology in 1921 from Harvard. He taught at American University in Washington, D.C. for a few years, then worked for a year as the Director of Public Services at Universal Studios in Hollywood.

Marston wrote a number of essays on pop psychology, focusing on feminist theory. He also invented the systolic blood-pressure test, better known as the polygraph or lie detector. These two interests -- feminism and the detection of falsehood -- came together while he was working as an educational consultant for DC Comics. Publisher Max Gaines, knowing of Marston's beliefs that girls needed strong role models just as much as boys did, encouraged him to create a female superhero, and in December of 1941, Marston, writing under the pen name of "Charles Moulton", debuted his strong female role model with the truth-detecting lasso, Wonder Woman, illustrated by Harry Peter, in All Star Comics #8. Marston threw himself into his new creation -- though he died of cancer in 1947, the last six years of his life were devoted to writing Wonder Woman's adventures.

Addendum: JD reminds me that Marston was a polygamist. According to an article in Reason magazine, he and his wife, Elizabeth Holloway, lived with another woman, Olive Richard, one of Marston's former students who liked to wear metal bracelets similar to Wonder Woman's. He had two children with each woman, and Marston and his wife officially adopted both of his children with Richard. In fact, Elizabeth named one of her children Olive, and Olive named one of hers Elizabeth. By all accounts, the arrangement was a happy one for all parties.

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