Marshall Lockhart McCune was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on December 17, 1908, the fifth child and fourth son of a banker and an oil company heiress.  He was educated at Shady Side Academy and raised in the sixth United Presbyterian Church.  After graduating from Princeton University in 1930, Marshall volunteered as an officer in the U.S. Army during World War II and was stationed in the Far East as a Special Services Officer.  In 1946 he received an honorable discharge from the Army and was told by his cousin, who had summered at Ghost Ranch, that he should visit New Mexico. After a lengthy trip through the Southwest and West, Marshall's journey ended in Santa Fe, where he settled at Bishop's Lodge.

Perrine C. Dixon was born on October 27, 1904, in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was the only child of William A. Dixon, a banker, and his wife, Corrine Kilpatrick.  She received the finest schooling of the South. Her grandfather, Dr. Brandt V. B. Dixon, was the first president of Sophie Newcomb College, the women's coordinate college of Tulane University and the model for later partnerships such as Harvard University and Radcliffe College, Brown University and Pembroke College, and Columbia University and Barnard College. In 1925 Perrine graduated from Sophie Newcomb College. Perrine's father, never a well man, was instructed by his doctor to retire to the Southwest, as his health would deteriorate in the Gulf Coast climate. The family then moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Marshall McCune and Perrine Dixon met at a party at Bishop's Lodge.  They married in Bishop Lamy's Chapel on January 6, 1949, and established residency in Tesuque. The McCunes became a significant part of the artistic and cultural life of Santa Fe, practicing a quiet, often anonymous kind of philanthropy. They were principal supporters of the Santa Fe Opera, the Maternal and Child Health Center, the School of American Research, the Santa Fe Boys and Girls Club, and other charitable causes.

Marshall died on December 13, 1975.  In 1989, Perrine established The McCune Charitable Foundation to further their philanthropic legacy.  Since Perrine’s death on March 7, 1991, the Foundation has continued to honor the McCunes' vision through its grantmaking.