Marshall Shore, otherwise known as “The Hip Historian,” has made it his life’s work to bring the history of Arizona to people in a way that keeps them engaged, interested and coming back for more.
From Winnie Ruth Judd, Arizona’s most notorious murderer, to the Five C’s of Arizona, no stone (or boulder) is left unturned by this historian. Shore has made it his goal to gather and share all the stories of Arizona’s history.
Shore’s storytelling, accompanied by unseen or forgotten photographs, helps bring to life a history rich in pioneers, priests and outlaws who helped form the state as we know it today.
Shore was born in a small town in Odell, Indiana.
“Two roads, one stop sign; population 25,” Shore said.
He received his Masters in Library Science at Indiana University. His next stop was New York City, where he spent a decade as a librarian before moving to Arizona.
As he explored his new home, he found the stories he heard from locals revealed an Arizona he never dreamed he’d find. Everywhere he went he would talk to people and his vault of knowledge regarding Arizona history began to fill.
“I kept finding these amazing stories and kept thinking…why aren’t we talking about this stuff?” Shore said.
Shore knew then that it was time to change to a path where he could enrich more lives with what he was discovering all through Arizona.
“There was something else, I didn’t know what it was, but I needed to connect people to place and share with people how I fell in love with Arizona,” Shore said.
On Statehood Day 2012, a friend of Shore’s invited him to talk on the steps of the State Capitol.
When describing Marshall Shore and his passion for Arizona history he was mistaken for the official state historian, Marshall Trimble. This is how the nickname Hip Historian came about. His friend said, “No, no he’s the Hip Historian.” And the name stuck.
“I heard that and said, ‘I’m going to use that,’” Shore said.
Shore hosts a variety of events in the Valley. You can find him anywhere from 4th grade classrooms to senior centers to local venues; Shore shares his love of storytelling with all ages.
One of Shore’s presentations references another transplanted Arizonan – a woman named Rusty Warren. Rusty was a comedian and pianist who played piano bars in the Valley during the 50s and 60s. She wrote a song titled Knockers Up. Today she is in the Library of Congress known as “The Birthmother of the Sexual Revolution.”
So, what makes Shore’s presentations unique?
“Me,” Shore laughed. He incorporates obscure facts, old images, hard-to-find video clips/movies and humor in his unique storytelling.
“Plus, costume changes. Now where are you going to find that in a historian’s presentation?” Shore said.
“Telling these amazing stories to let people know there is a lot of history in Arizona – it is all about the story,” Shore said. “Arizona draws people here who are looking to reinvent themselves. And if they are lucky, they end up doing what they love.”