Aloysius Marx was born in Germany in 1862 and came to America to seek fame and fortune in the earl 1880’s. Marx’s career started with a bang — literally — in 1884 when he was drafted into an impromptu slugging match with John L. Sullivan. Marx lasted 55 seconds with the champ, but it brought him some measure of fame and he parlayed it into a career. As “The Texas Cowboy” Marx boxed all over the country for several years. Marx also performed as a strongman — billed as “Nero- The Herculean King” — he bent horse shoes with his bare hands, lifted horses, drove nails, and sang an opera song without any apparent dis-ease whilst wearing an iron hat which weighed 126 lbs.
On a stop in St. Louis, as fate would have it, Marx visited a brewery and noticed a man moving beer barrels around as a child might move wooden blocks. He befriended this fellow (by the name of Mr. John Grunn), and suggested that he might make a worthy go of it in the strongman game. Shortly thereafter, the pair traveled the country performing as “The Bros. Marx.” The elder Marx taught Grunn the strongman art, so much so, Grunn eventually took the surname “Marx” and thereafter went on to establish his own notable exploits.