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Biographical entry Marks, Sir Simon, Lord Marks of Broughton (1888 - 1964)

Baron 1961; Kt 1944; Hon FRCS 14 November 1957.

9 July 1888
8 December 1964


Simon Marks was born on 9 July 1888 son of Michael and Hannah Marks and was educated at Manchester Grammar School. His father died in 1906 and Simon aged 18 went into the business his father had founded in Leeds market in 1884 of penny bazaar stores. During the first world war he worked on various Government projects chiefly under Chaim Weizmann and developed his latent interest in Zionism.

After the war he expanded his family business with unprecedented success and profit, till "Marks and Spencer" became familiar throughout the country. He persuaded manufacturers to produce goods of quality and style and sold them within the means of poorer people on a great scale, thus incidentally improving public taste especially in clothing. He was an excellent employer, providing good conditions for all his staff. His range of interests was wide, and in his charitable dispositions he particularly encouraged the application of scientific developments to practical purposes. He gave munificent financial help to this Royal College, to which he was attracted by the advocacy of Sir Archibald Mclndoe. Marks gave more than half a million pounds to the College for the expansion of education and research, and persuaded the Council to open a campaign to raise further funds. He was elected an Honorary Fellow in 1957 and to the Court of Patrons; other members of his family followed his lead in support of the College's work. Lord Marks died on 8 December 1964 aged 76, survived by his wife with their son and daughter.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times 9 December 1964 p 15 a-b with portrait; Ann Roy Coll Surg Engl 1965, 36, 120 by Sir James Paterson Ross, Bt, with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England