Wisconsin 275
Wisconsin 275
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Stephen Marcus

Living Legends
The Marcus Corp.  |  Milwaukee

In 1962, Stephen Marcus joined the movie theater business his father, Ben Marcus, founded 27 years  earlier. Stephen went on to serve as president from 1980 to 2008 and as chief executive officer from 1988 to 2009, overseeing its growth in the movie theater and hospitality industry. He was instrumental in its acquisition of The Pfister Hotel and the Milwaukee Hilton and construction of the tower expansion to the Pfister. He was elected chairman of the board in 1991 and today continues to serve as chairman.

A civic leader, Marcus has chaired the Greater Milwaukee Committee and co-chaired annual campaigns for the United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County and the United Performing Arts Fund. As chair of Summerfest in the 1970s, he is credited with helping grow the annual festival by bringing in a variety of food vendors.

He is also former chair of the Marcus Corp. Foundation, which has contributed to many projects and causes in the region. The Marcus Performing Arts Center in Milwaukee is named in recognition of a naming rights contribution from The Marcus Corp. Foundation more than 25 years ago, which provided funds to renovate and expand the facility. The Marcus family also previously was naming rights sponsor of the amphitheater on the Summerfest grounds.

In partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning, the foundation created the Marcus Prize, which is offered every two years in recognition of emerging talent in the world of architecture.

The Marcus family also donated the Warner Grand Theatre (a former Marcus theater) to the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, which converted the venue into the Bradley Symphony Center. In total, the Marcus Corp. Foundation has donated more than $10 million to nonprofit organizations

In 2017, Stephen Marcus spearheaded the launch of Sculpture Milwaukee, an annual public art display in downtown Milwaukee, in an effort to help revitalize Wisconsin Avenue.

Education: Bachelor’s, UW-Madison; J.D., University of Michigan Law School

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