William Moulton Marston

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Dr. William Moulton Marston (May 9, 1893 – May 2, 1947), also known by the pen name Charles Moulton, was an American psychologist, feminist theorist, inventor, and comic book writer who created the character Wonder Woman. Two women, his wife Elizabeth Holloway Marston and Olive Byrne (who lived with the couple in a polyamorous relationship), served as exemplars for the character and greatly influenced her creation.[1][2]

He was inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2006.



Early life and career

Born in Saugus, Massachusetts, William Marston was educated at Harvard University, receiving his B.A. in 1915, an L.L.B. in 1918, and a Ph.D. in Psychology in 1921. After teaching at American University in Washington D.C. and Tufts University in Medford MA, Marston traveled to Universal Studios in California in 1929, where he spent a year as Director of Public Services.

Psychologist and inventor

Marston is credited as the creator of the systolic blood pressure test used in an attempt to detect deception, which became one component of the modern polygraph. According to their son, Marston's wife Elizabeth Holloway Marston was also involved in the development of the systolic blood-pressure test: "According to Marston’s son, it was his mother Elizabeth, Marston’s wife, who suggested to him that 'When she got mad or excited, her blood pressure seemed to climb' (Lamb, 2001). Although Elizabeth is not listed as Marston’s collaborator in his early work, Lamb, Matte (1996), and others 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 Marston, 1938)."[3][4] Some have linked this device to Wonder Woman's Lasso of Truth, but a direct connection is difficult to demonstrate .

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