Marianne Weber (1870 – 1954) was a German sociologist, women's rights activist and the wife of Max Weber. Marianne’s mother, Anna, had married a country doctor, Eduard Schnitger, but died in childbirth during the second year of marriage. Marianne grew up with her paternal grandmother, aunt and 2 uncles. Her father visited occasionally but did not live with his daughter. There was little money in the household and her uncles and father had mental health problems. Marianne received only a basic education. Fortunately for Marianne, her grandfather Karl Weber agreed to send her to finishing school when she was 16. On her return, she lived with a maternal aunt, but moved to Berlin and in with Max Weber’s family in 1892, by which time she was 22. Marianne married Max Weber in 1893.
During the early years of their marriage, while Max Weber was teaching in Berlin and at the University of Heidelberg, Marianne Weber studied with Heinrich Rickert and became involved in the women’s movement. She published her first book in 1900. Marianne and Max adopted four children after Max’s sister killed herself in 1820. Three months later Max died. Marianne raised the children, devoted herself to the publication of Max’s work, and wrote a biography of her husband (published in 1926).