Marlene met her husband Fred Malek in Hawaii while he was serving as a Ranger in the Army Special Forces. They were wed in 1962. Marlene received a degree in Nursing from Marymount University in 1979 and has continuously been involved cancer research and awareness organizations for the last three decades. Commemorating the 25th anniversary of the National Cancer Act (signed into law by President Nixon), Malek cofounded the organization Friends of Cancer Research. She has dedicated her adult life to philanthropic fundraising. Mrs. Malek has two children and five grandchildren.
The Washingtonian Magazine named Ms. Malek “Washingtonian of the Year” for her work in building support for cancer research.