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Herbert Marx (BBHS ’50)

Born: 1932,  Montreal, Quebec

After graduating from BBHS, Marx  received his bachelors of Arts from Sir George Williams University (now Concordia) in 1958.

He then went on to work as a businessman in the lighting industry, becoming vice-president of Verd-A-Ray Industries Ltd. until 1964. At 32 years old, Marx returned to school and received a Masters in English literature (1962) and a Law Degree from the Université de Montréal (1967).  He subsequently graduated with a Masters of Law from Harvard University in 1969. Marx was admitted to the Quebec Bar in 1968.

Marx taught at the Université de Montréal for a number of years before entering the field of politics. He was interested in how law could help alleviate poverty, which was the subject matter of one of his courses. This application of the law got him involved with establishing the first legal aid clinic in Montreal and Project Genesis, which is a Montreal not for profit organization focusing on social and legal aid for under privileged people.

Marx held a number of positions throughout his career including Quebec Human Rights Commissioner and assistant to the Quebec Ministries of Justice.  He was also a consultant to the Canada Law Reform Commission, the Quebec Civil Code Revision Office, the Quebec Gendron Commission on Language Rights and the Montreal Island School Council.

In 1979, Marx was elected in a by-election as the member from D’Arcy-McGee to the Quebec National Assembly. He was re-elected in 1981 and 1985. He was Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Quebec from 1985 to 1988. He was appointed a Justice of Quebec Superior Court in 1989 by the Government of Canada and took mandatory retirement in 2007.

Marx is active in a number of NGOs including co-chair of the McGill Consortium for Human Rights Advocacy Training, co-chair of the McGill Middle East Programme in Civil Society and Peace Building, Governor of Tel Aviv University, and member of the board of the Tolerance Foundation.

Marx has published many peer reviewed articles on constitutional law, civil liberties and poverty law. He has also authored and co-authored several books in the the same fields.

Click here to see an interview with Herbert Marx in which he shares wonderful recollections about his days at BBHS, the surrounding neighbourhood and his career.


Herbert Marx, National Assembly of Québec. Quebec Government