This being the traditional beginning of the school year, I thought it appropriate to touch on Lee Marvin’s rollercoaster education. He often boasted in interviews of being kicked out of dozens of both public and private schools in his formative years. However, the truth is that the number was a lot less than that. The schools he did attend for any length of time are all documented in detail for the first time in Lee Marvin: Point Blank, with one example being the experimental upstate New York School called Manumit. If he had his choice, however, Marvin would have preferred a different pursuit, one in which he occassionally skipped school to pursue….















He would indulge his love of fishing and the outdoors in various degrees throughout his life. However, in his youth, come the autumn semester, boarding school called. His father Monte sought to enroll him at Manumit in Pawling, New York, based on discussions with its staff members and the brochure….


The brochure boasted of its new way of doing things with free-minded students but also included this on the back cover….


And so in 1936, 13 year-old Lee Marvin was enrolled, and wore the required outfit of the school…..


It was the school’s educational director, William Mann Fincke, who wrote the assement of Marvin’s stay at Manumit. A summary appears in the pages of Lee Marvin: Point Blank but here now, for the first time, is the full assesement.






Mr. Fincke’s attempt to end on an optimistic note ended with the above note. Readers of Lee Marvin: Point Blank know what happened not long after this report was written (pp. 22-24). The progressive school had never encountered the likes of Lee Marvin. The young hellion was indeed kicked out of school but not before he exposed their hypcorisy for what it was. The worst part for Marvin was having to face the wrath of his father, yet again. WHat lay ahead….well, that’s one of the reasons I wrote the book.

Share Button


Lee Marvin would be the first to say he never had a hometown, having grown up and gone to school all over the Eastern seaboard, from New York and New Jersey, to New Hampshire and Florida.  He would also admit that if he had any roots at all, it would be in the upstate region of Woodstock, New York. His parents gave him and his brother, Robert  memorable summers when they were children. After the war, following short horrific stints in both Manhattan and Chicago (Lee Marvin: Point Blank), the family settled in Woodstock where they took up residence for the rest of their lives. In fact, Lee’s mother Courtenay, father Monte, and brother Robert all lived in the Bearsville home until their deaths.
It was in Woodstock, while working as a plumber’s apprentice for Adolph Heckeroth, that Lee discovered his true calling. What he did until that time can be seen below….

chicago-1In Chicago after the war and still sporting the mustache he grew in the Pacific, Lee enjoys a night with one of the many local women he dated through the years.


For most of his life, Marvin enjoyed two past times since childhood. One was fishing, that grew to include deep sea fishing off the coasts of Mexico and Australia when he got older, to another manly pursuit….

deerhunt-1He loved to go hunting as shown above, which once resulted in a a comical run-in with his boss, Adolph Heckeroth (Lee Marvin Point Blank, p. 59)

Share Button