This inspiration for wonder-woman had 3 degrees when girls were restricted in education & also participated with Marston in the development of the systolic blood-pressure test used to detect deception
Posted February 21st, 2015
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Elizabeth "Sadie" Holloway Marston (February 20, 1893 – March 27, 1993) was an American psychologist. She was involved in various ways in the creation of the comic book character Wonder Woman in the early 1940s with her husband, William Moulton Marston (pen name Charles Moulton). She also participated with Marston in the development of the systolic blood-pressure test used to detect deception.
Marston was born Elizabeth Holloway in the Isle of Man and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. As noted by Boston University, "In an era when few women earned higher degrees, Elizabeth received three." She received her B.A. in psychology from Mount Holyoke College in 1915 and would have liked to go on to join her then-fiance, William Marston, at Harvard Law School. However, according to an interview she gave to the New York Times in 1992, "Those dumb bunnies at Harvard wouldn't take women [...] so I went to Boston University." According to Marston's granddaughter, Susan Grupposo, when Marston asked her father to support her through law school, "He told her: 'Absolutely not. As long as I have money to keep you in aprons, you can stay home with your mother.' Undeterred, Holloway peddled cookbooks to the local ladies' clubs. She needed $100 for her tuition, and by the end of the summer she had it. She married Marston that September, but still she paid her own way." Marston received her LL.B from the Boston University School of Law in 1918, and was "one of three women to graduate from the School of Law that year. [She later stated] 'I finished the [Massachusetts Bar] exam in nothing flat and had to go out and sit on the stairs waiting for Bill Marston and another Harvard man . . . to finish.'"
Both William and Elizabeth next joined the psychology department at Harvard. Because Harvard's doctoral program was restricted to men, Elizabeth was in the master's program at the neighboring Radcliffe College. Elizabeth worked with William on his dissertation, which concerned the correlation between blood pressure levels and deception. William would later develop this into the systolic blood-pressure test used to detect deception that was the predecessor to the polygraph test.

This work led to a Ph.D for William from Harvard and an M.A. for Elizabeth from Radcliffe in 1921. Furthermore, according to their son, it was Elizabeth who suggested to William that "When she got mad or excited, her blood pressure seemed to climb." Although Elizabeth is not listed as William’s collaborator in his early work, a number of writers refer directly and indirectly to Elizabeth’s work on her husband’s deception research. She also appears in a picture taken in his polygraph laboratory in the 1920s, reproduced in a 1938 publication by William.
Marston was a career woman, a position that was controversial for the time in which she lived: "She indexed the documents of the first fourteen Congresses, lectured on law, ethics, and psychology at American and New York Universities, [and] served as an editor for Encyclopædia Britannica and McCall's magazine." In 1933, Marston became the assistant to the chief executive at Metropolitan Life Insurance, a position she held until she was 65 years old.

Marston had her first child at the age of 35 and continued to work, which was rare for women at the time. She eventually had two children, Pete and Olive Ann, and also supported the two children of Olive Byrne, who lived with the couple in an extended relationship. These children, Byrne and Donn, were legally adopted by the Marstons. While Olive stayed home to raise the children, Elizabeth supported the family when William was out of work and after his death in 1947. This included financing the college and graduate education of all four children and supporting Olive until her death in the 1980s.

Her 1993 obituary stated that she was the inspiration for Wonder Woman. It also quoted her son Pete as stating that Marston had told William (after he was asked to develop a new superhero in the early 1940s), "Come on, let's have a Superwoman! There's too many men out there." A 2001 article in the Boston University Alumni Magazine, which included extensive interviews with her family, further noted that "William Moulton Marston, a psychologist already famous for inventing the polygraph (forerunner to the magic lasso), struck upon an idea for a new kind of superhero, one who would triumph not with fists or firepower, but with love. 'Fine,' said Elizabeth. 'But make her a woman.'" Lillian S. Robinson, however, has argued that both Olive Byrne and Elizabeth were the models for the character. In addition, Marston contributed some of Wonder Woman's signature exclamations, such as “Suffering Sappho” and “Great Hera."

Marston lived to be one hundred years old, dying March 27, 1993, just after her hundredth birthday.

The Secret History of Wonder Woman - Book

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