The one-time Guinness Book of World Records holder for the highest recorded IQ, she started a popular "Ask Marilyn" weekly column in Parade magazine in 1986.
She received an astounding IQ score of 228 when she was just ten years old. As a young woman, she dropped out of Washington University in St. Louis to assist with her family's investment business.
In one of her most famous columns, she answered the "Monty Hall" problem, explaining why, when faced with three doors (one with a prize behind it), it pays to switch after one of the non-prize doors is revealed.
She was born Marilyn Mach in St. Louis, Missouri, to German and Italian immigrant parents. She was first married when she was just sixteen years old.
Her third husband, Robert Jarvik, was the inventor of the artificial heart.