Marvin Fox was a well-known and influential teacher and scholar in the study of Philosophy and Jewish Thought. He began his studies in Philosophy as an undergraduate at Northwest University, where he received his B.A. in 1942. He began his graduate studies at Northwestern, receiving his M.A. in 1946. Fox earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy at the University of Chicago in 1950; correspondence with the university during this period is found in Box 2. Fox began teaching at Ohio State University in 1948. This is noteworthy, since it was most unusual at that time for a secular institution to hire Jewish faculty. Fox taught in the Philosophy department at OSU for 26 years. During his tenure at OSU, he was also instrumental in launching that institution’s program in Jewish Studies. Fox joined Brandeis’ Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies in 1974, where he remained until his retirement in 1994, serving as a professor of Jewish thought, chairman of the NEJS department, and director of the University’s Lown School of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies.
Fox wrote and lectured extensively from very early in his academic career. A full bibliography of his writings is found in volume 1 of his Collected Essays, edited posthumously by Neusner. Especially noteworthy is his book-length study on Maimonides, Interpreting Maimonides: Studies in Methodology, Metaphysics and Moral Philosophy.
Fox was an ordained Rabbi, having received ordination at the Hebrew Theological College of Chicago in 1942. While Fox did not serve as a pulpit Rabbi, he served as an Army chaplain during World War II, a period illuminated by materials found in boxes 14 and 28.
Schatz, David. Remembering Marvin Fox: One Man’s Legacy to Jewish Thought, in Tradition 36:1, pp. 59ff, 2002.
Fox, June. Marvin Fox: A Memoir, in Neusner, Jacob, ed. Marvin Fox: Collected Essays on Philosophy and Judaism, vol. 1. Binghamton: Global Studies, 2001.