Marvin Hoffenberg was born in Buffalo, New York in July 7, 1914. He attended Ohio State University where he received his Bachelor's degree in 1939 and a Masters degree in 1940. He completed his course and residence requirements in social statistics for a Ph.D. in 1941 from Ohio State University before being lured away at the beginning of World War II to join the Roosevelt administration to become a new deal economist at the US Department of Labor were he served from 1941 to 1952. Marvin served as a Consultant at the U.S. Mutual Security Agency/Europe (Marshall Aid Program Mission) in Paris in 1952. After the war he became an economist at the RAND Corporation, one of the thriving centers of social research from 1952 to 1956. He became Director of Research at the Economic Consulting Department, deVegh & Co. in 1956 and Staff Economist for the Committee for Economic Development in 1960. He was then hired as Project Chairman at John Hopkins Universities Operations Research Office, Research Analysis Corporation (ORO became RAC) from 1960 to 1963 prior to working as the Director of the Cost Analysis Department at the Aerospace Corporation from 1963 to 1965.
In 1965 Hoffenberg was hired at UCLA as a Research Economist at the Institute of Government and Public Affairs. He was a Professor-in-Residence at the UCLA School of Public Health from 1967-72. He became a lecturer for the UCLA Political Science Department from 1967 to 1970 and a Professor-in-Residence from 1970 to 1986.
Over his career Marvin Hoffenberg authored numerous publications on a variety of issues in the broad field of economics and public policy. In 1985 Marvin was one of the founders in creating the annual John C. Bollens lecture and has served since that time on its planning committee. In 1991 the Bollens lecture became the Bollens-Ries lecture. In 2005 the Bollens-Ries Lecture Executive Committee honored Marvin for his many contributions to UCLA and the Political Science Department by adding his name to the lecture series.
On December 30th, 2012, Marvin passed away at the age of 98. He is survived by his wife, Betty, and his sons David and Peter. His obituary may be read here.