Late Ray Kroc’s Daughter Marilyn Kroc Barg’s Wiki; What Was The Cause Behind Her Death?

The sudden death of Marilyn Kroc Barg in 1973 at the young age of 48 shocked many who knew the daughter of American businessman Ray Kroc, the mogul who catapulted McDonald’s into a global fast food empire.

Marilyn Kroc’s relatively early demise left lingering questions about what led to the death of this low-profile woman who was the only child of an internationally-renowned billionaire.

This in-depth article explores Marilyn’s intriguing background, life, marriages, cause of death, and more, shedding light on her history as part of one of America’s most famous business families.

How Old Was Marilyn Kroc Barg When She Died? The Cause Behind Her Untimely Death

Marilyn Kroc Barg passed away on September 11, 1973 in Arlington Heights, Illinois at the age of 48. The cause of death was complications related to diabetes, a condition she had lived with for years.

Her funeral service was held at the Lauterburg & Dehler Funeral Home and she was laid to rest at the Memorial Park Cemetery in Skokie, Illinois.

Her mysterious and premature ending came as a shock to many who knew this modest woman who shunned the limelight.

Here is a quick facts about Marilyn Janet Lynn Kroc:

Full NameMarilyn Janet Lynn Kroc
Popular NameMarilyn Kroc Barg
Birth PlaceChicago, Cook County, Illinois
BirthdayOctober 15, 1924
DeathSeptember 11, 1973
Death CauseComplication from Diabetes
Age48 years
FatherRay Kroc
MotherEthel Janet Fleming
Net Worth$1 million
Marital StatusMarried
SpouseSylvester Nordly Nelson and Walter James Barg

Early Life as a Chicago Native: Marilyn Kroc Barg’s Upbringing

Marilyn Kroc was born Marilyn Janet Lynn Kroc on October 15, 1924 in Chicago, Illinois to entrepreneur Ray Kroc and his first wife Ethel Fleming.

She spent her early years growing up in Chicago alongside her parents before her father amassed his vast fortune.

Her father Ray started off as a traveling salesman selling paper cups before becoming fascinated by the McDonald brothers’ innovative drive-in restaurant in San Bernardino, California in the 1950s.

Ray eventually acquired the rights to McDonald’s and created an empire by expanding the concept globally.

As a child, Marilyn Kroc lived a simple Midwest upbringing and attended local Chicago schools.

Her family led an unassuming life during her early years, as her father wouldn’t become a household name until decades later with McDonald’s immense success under his leadership.

The End of Her Parents’ Long Marriage

Marilyn’s parents had married in 1922 when they were both in their early 20s. They remained together for nearly four decades, until 1961 when they divorced after 39 years of marriage.

After splitting from Marilyn’s mother Ethel, Ray Kroc would go on to marry twice more, to Jane Dobbins Green and Joan Beverly Kroc in later life. Meanwhile, Ethel Fleming never remarried after divorcing Ray.

Both Parents Have Since Passed Away

  • Mother Ethel died at age 66 in 1965 in the city where she’d spent much of her life, Chicago.
  • Father Ray passed away in 1984 at the age of 81 in San Diego, the cause being heart failure. He was buried at the El Camino Memorial Park in San Diego’s Sorrento Valley.

Both of Marilyn’s parents died years before their daughter’s own premature death.

Marilyn’s Work and Passions: Horses and Business

Marilyn Kroc followed in her entrepreneurial father’s footsteps to an extent, serving on the board of directors at McDonald’s. However, her greatest passion was horses.

She was actively involved in equestrian sports and worked as a horse breeder and seller.

Marilyn Kroc had a lifelong love of horses and was deeply involved in the showing and breeding of American Saddlebreds, Hackneys, and Arabian horses.

While she had business acumen like her father, Marilyn’s heart was with her beloved horses.

She chose to avoid the corporate world and public eye, focusing on equine pursuits and philanthropy supporting animal welfare.

Marilyn’s Marital History: Two Marriages

Marilyn was married twice during her relatively short life.

  • Her first marriage was to Sylvester Nordly Nelson in 1949. Details on their relationship are scarce, but available records show they divorced at some point in the 1950s.
  • In 1960, Marilyn wed her second husband Walter James Barg. This marriage lasted until the time of her death in 1973.

A Look at Marilyn’s Two Husbands

Sylvester Nordly Nelson was born in Minnesota in 1916. He was a World War II veteran who served in the 363rd infantry. Sylvester passed away in 1960 at age 44 in Wisconsin.

Her second husband Walter James Barg was born in 1920 in Evanston, Illinois and worked as an administrator. He came from a well-known family, as his father William Barg was an Illinois state senator.

Walter outlived Marilyn Kroc by over a decade, remaining a widow until his death in 1984 at age 64. He was buried at the All Saints Catholic Cemetery and Mausoleum in Des Plaines, Illinois.

Did Marilyn Have Any Children?

It remains unclear whether Marilyn Kroc had any biological children, as records are inconclusive. Her father Ray Kroc did have four grandchildren, but it is not confirmed if any were Marilyn’s offspring.

Some online sources claim she may have had a son named Douglas Barg with second husband Walter James Barg, but this has not been definitively verified.

The question of Marilyn’s potential descendants adds another layer of mystery to her intriguing life story.

Net Worth: The Wealth She Inherited

Thanks to her famous father’s business success, Marilyn lived a comfortable life and had an estimated personal net worth of $1 million at the time of her death.

For comparison, her father Ray Kroc’s net worth was estimated at $600 million when he died in 1984.

The empire he built meant Marilyn enjoyed all the benefits of growing up in one of America’s richest families, though she eschewed the limelight.

Conclusion: The Short Life of An American Heiress

Marilyn Kroc Barg’s premature ending left many unanswered questions about the relatively private life of a woman born into great privilege and family fame.

While little is known about her personal relationships and potential descendants, Marilyn left her mark through philanthropic endeavors and her passion for equestrian sports.

Her quiet life diverged from her father Ray Kroc’s fame and status as a titan of American business. Yet she forged her own path over 48 years shaped by personal interests, charitable causes and family ties.

Her curious history as the little-known daughter of McDonald’s meteoric founder will continue to intrigue those interested in stories of success, wealth and tragedy.

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