Maker's Mark began when T. William "Bill" Samuels Sr., purchased the "Burks' Distillery" in Loretto, Kentucky, for $35,000 on October 1, 1953. Production began in 1954, and the first run was bottled in 1958 under the brand's iconic dipped red wax seal by co-founder Margie Samuels, who went on to become the first woman involved with a distillery to be inducted into the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Maker's Mark was widely marketed with the tag line, "It tastes expensive ... and is."
The distillery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 31, 1974, and designated a National Historic Landmark on December 16, 1980, listed as "Burks' Distillery", the first distillery in America to be recognized while the landmark buildings were in active production.
After the brand's creation by Bill Samuels, Sr., its production was overseen by his son Bill Samuels, Jr.
In January 2014, Beam Inc announced its sale to Suntory, creating the third-largest distilled spirits maker in the world.
In November 2018, Dave Pickerell, who served as master distiller, died at 62 years old. Pickerell was called the "Johnny Appleseed of American Whiskey".