Marie Menken was born Marie Menkevicius in New York City on May 25, 1909, the daughter of Catholic Lithuanian immigrants. She grew up in Brooklyn with a brother and a sister, in a home used to frequent financial difficulties. Both she and her sister Adele later changed their surname to Menken. Marie Menken and Willard Maas had got married in 1937, moving into a Brooklyn penthouse at 62 Montague Street which they would inhabit until their deaths. She died on December 29, 1970. Four days after her death, on January 2, 1971, Willard Maas died.