Marvin Malone was a man who made significant contributions to both the arts and the sciences. In his professional life, Marvin Malone was a distinguished pharmacologist, scientific researcher, and educator. In his personal life, he was an accomplished artist, collector, and poetry editor. Intense, private, and principled about both his vocation and avocations, Malone was, in the best sense, a modern renaissance man.
Born in 1930, Malone was raised on a dust-bowl farm in Fairbury, Nebraska, where a schoolmarm mother and access to a Carnegie public library instilled in him an early love of reading, learning, and self-reliance. He attended the University of Nebraska on scholarship, where he received a BS in Pharmacy in 1951, an MS in Physiology/Pharmacology in 1953, and a PhD in Pharmacology in 1958.
In 1958, after a research job at Squibb Institute, Malone joined the pharmacy department at the University of New Mexico, transferring to the University of Connecticut in 1960 and then to the University of the Pacific in 1969. He was honored by UOP with its highest faculty awards and was several times accorded an Outstanding Educator of America Award.
Malone was a dedicated researcher, publishing more than 240 scientific papers. His major research contributions included tests for anti-inflammatory agents, the evaluation of toxins in higher fungi, and the humanitarian strategy for screening ethnopharmaceuticals in animals--the Hippocratic screening. Malone's service also extended to consultant for the World Health Organization, as well as editor of the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education and the Journal of Ethnopharmacology. He was a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and affiliated with more than twenty professional and honorary societies.
Although Malone was a scientist by profession, his first loves were literature and art, especially the avant-garde. Married to an artist, Shirley, who encouraged his artistic expression, Malone early turned to painting, woodblock printing, and assemblage. Whether a simple sketch of a colleague or a complex construction of spent vacuum tubes, Malone's own artwork remained a top priority for him throughout his lifetime.
When the Malones and their two small daughters moved to Connecticut in 1960, Marvin discovered an upstart small-press poetry journal called the Wormwood Review. After financial ruin threatened the review early on, he took over the publication, editing, designing, and publishing quarterly issues by himself up until his death in 1996. Though small, unpretentious, and nonprofit, the Wormwood Review was one of the most influential and long-running poetry publications in the U.S., publishing the work of such diverse writers as Charles Bukowski, Lyn Lifshin, Gerry Locklin, Jack Micheline, Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel, and Billy Collins, among hundreds of others. Alan Kaufman in his book The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry called Wormwood "the greatest little magazine of all time, bar none."
After his official retirement from UOP in 1990, Malone concentrated on publishing Wormwood and completing an impressive and important collection of twentieth-century poetry magazines. However, a series of family tragedies continued to mar the decade of the 1990s. His older daughter, Carla, dying from breast cancer in 1996 was the final blow. Malone began to experience arrhythmia and passed away eight months after her death. He left behind a rich legacy as researcher, as educator, as publisher, as artist, as collector. Marvin Malone -- a true renaissance man.