Marshall Trimble was born in 1939 in Mesa, but was raised in the tiny northern Arizona town of Ash Fork. It was an important railroad stop and his father worked for the Santa Fe railroad. Ash Fork is west of Flagstaff on historic Route 66, so Marshall was strongly influenced by the history, people, and legends of what author John Steinbeck dubbed "the mother road."
He attended West High School in Phoenix during his senior year and then served in the Marines. After his discharge, he attended Phoenix College, playing baseball on the 1958 team ranked fifth in the nation. He had already begun playing guitar, but after seeing the Kingston Trio in 1959, he was hooked for life on folk music. The same year he met Travis Edmondson, a fellow Arizona native, who greatly influenced him. Other performers he cites include Bob Shane, John Stewart, and Gordon Lightfoot.
Marshall became a folk singer and started touring the Southwest. He also began teaching at Coronado High School in Scottsdale and then moved to Scottsdale Community College, where he has been on the faculty for more than 35 years. In addition to teaching history, he is a prolific author. Marshall's first book, Arizona: A Panoramic History Of A Frontier State, was published in 1977 and since then he has written more than twenty books on Arizona and the West.
Marshall is also one of the state's most popular speakers as well as an educator, lecturer, folk singer and stage performer. This multi-talented historian has been called the "Will Rogers of Arizona," who can deliver anything from a serious history lecture to a stage concert of Western folk music and stories. He appears frequently on radio and TV as a goodwill ambassador for the state. At the urging of his fans, including a group of Arizona history teachers, Governor Fife Symington appointed him Official State Historian in 1997.
Marshall sometimes performs with fellow AMEHOF inductee Dolan Ellis, Arizona's Official State Balladeer. He also visits dozens of schools around the state, playing his guitar, spinning yarns, and sharing Arizona history. He is a regular columnist in The Arizona Republic and answers questions about the Old West from readers all over the world in True West Magazine's popular column, "Ask The Marshall." He is also an avid outdoorsman and has seen most of our state's beautiful scenery from horseback. Although he has been lived in Scottsdale for many years, he still considers Ash Fork his hometown and remains involved with the community. The multi-talented Marshall Trimble proudly continues to share his extensive knowledge and love of our state in many wonderful ways, truly deserving his title as the "Official Arizona State Historian."