After a Wyncote Boyhood, This Local Lawyer Vied to be Governor and Mayor

David W. Marston
Image via April Saul at The Philadelphia Inquirer.
David W. Marston.

David W. Marston, former U.S. attorney, onetime candidate for mayor and governor, and longtime Philadelphia lawyer, has died at 80. Gary Miles wrote a retrospective of his career for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Marston was born in Tennessee but when he was two, his family moved to Wyncote. Future places of residence would include Philadelphia, Bryn Mawr, and Newtown Square.

He received a history degree from Tennessee’s Maryville College. It provided a solid foundation for earning a law degree from Harvard University. He also served in the U.S. Navy.

Marston was U.S. attorney in Philadelphia in the 1970s, and his more ambitious political yearnings evolved from that experience. He later tried for — and lost — lost bids for both Pennsylvania governor and Philadelphia mayor.

A political tangle that escalated to the national level derailed his career somewhat. In 1978, a state Democrat contacted then-President Jimmy Carter to claim that Marston was unfairly investigating him. President Carter removed Marston from service.

“I don’t mind taking risks,” Marston said reflecting on his career. “And I like to spend each day doing something I think is worth doing.”

Much of the latter part of his career was spent authoring books and serving his local Presbyterian church.

More on David W. Marston is at The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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