Marquis was born 29 July, 1878, in Walnut, Illinois, and died 29 December, 1937, of a stroke. He married Reina Melcher in 1909, and they were wed until she died in 1923; he married Marjorie Potts Vonnegut three years later, and she died in 1936. Marquis had two children, Robert (who died at age 5) and Barbara (who died at age 13).
He cowrote (or contributed posthumously) to the films The Sports Pages, Shinbone Alley, The Good Old Soak, and Skippy. He also wrote a play called The Old Soak, drew cartoons for The New Yorker, and was a freelance columnist, humorist, and poet.