Marshal H. Wrubel, before entering his field of astronomy, studied music and was both a pianist and composer. He then joined the faculty of Indiana University in the Department of Astronomy. He was named University Professor of Astronomy in 1966. Wrubel was one of the organizers and the first Director of the IU Computing Research Center, which was renamed in his honor in 1973.
His research was focused on the structure of stellar atmospheres and interiors with the application of digital computers. He wrote a textbook based on his research. Wrubel was a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1968.
Wrubel died unexpectedly while mountain hiking near Boulder, Colorado, on October 26, 1968, at the age of 44.