Paul Pletcher Martin as born and raised in Lancaster. He graduated from Lancaster High School in 1932 and, after working for a period, enrolled at Franklin & Marshall College. He graduated in 1937 with majors in German, English, Social Studies, and Greek. An outstanding high school athlete, Martin distinguished himself as a member of the F&M basketball team that won the Eastern Pennsylvania Collegiate Basketball League championship in 1936 and 1937. At a time when games scores were in the 30s, Martin was known for his defensive prowess and timely scoring.
Teammates on those teams included legendary S. Woodrow Sponaugle and Paul Wenrich, both F&M Sports Hall of Fame members. Following graduation, Martin played softball as a first baseman with the Hamilton Watch team that won three state championships and four national championships. The Washington Senators offered him a professional baseball contract based on his softball talents. He taught German and English at the Hershey Industrial School between 1937 and 1943 while he worked on his master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
From 1943 to 1946, he served with Army Intelligence in London and Berlin translating war documents. Martin returned to F&M in 1946 to start a teaching career that would last 32 years. A beloved committed professor, Martin was very active in all aspects of college and community life. He passed away in 1978 after spending most of his life in Lancaster, doing what he wanted--teaching and impacting the lives of students.