Hart was born Martha Patterson in 1966, and is the youngest of 11 children. Her mother, Joan, had battled breast cancer before Hart and her sister Virgina were born; her father left her mother when Martha was young. Education is very important to Martha. She has completed two degrees at the University of Calgary in Psychology and Sociology before moving to England to complete a Master's degree in Social and Development Psychology at Cambridge University, and as of 2010, is now in her final year of her PhD there. She met her husband, Owen Hart, in 1982, while they were both still in high school. She attended a Stampede Wrestling event with a friend, and met Owen after recognizing him as one of the wrestlers who attended her school for a wrestling practice. She later stated that it was love at first sight and their relationship was a dream come true. They married on July 1, 1989, and had two children together: Oje Edward Hart (born March 5, 1992) and Athena Christie/Christy Hart (born September 23, 1995). Owen died while performing a stunt on May 23, 1999 at the World Wrestling Federation (WWF)'s Over the Edge pay-per-view. As a result of the vast charitable contributions achieved through the good works of the Owen Hart Foundation, Martha was named Individual Philanthropist of the Year in 2004 by the AFP.
Three weeks after Owen's death, Hart and the Hart family launched a death lawsuit against the WWF, which was settled out of court for approximately $18 million on November 2, 2000. She used millions of the settlement to establish the Owen Hart Foundation. She has managed the foundation since 1999. Some of the money also went into trust funds for her children, until they are 21. After the lawsuit, Martha separated herself from the majority of the Hart family. She cites Bret, Keith, Alison, Stu, and Helen Hart as the only Hart family members who sided with her during the battle. She criticized those family members who continued to work for the WWF.There is real-life tension between Martha and her sister-in-law Diana Hart-Smith. Martha sued Diana and claims that Diana's book, Inside Wrestling's Greatest Family, is both slanderous and libelous, and had it removed from markets, and everywhere books are sold. On June 22nd, 2010, Martha is suing Vince McMahon again for wrongfully using Owen's name and releasing numerous DVDs under WWE.
In 2002, she started writing a book entitled Broken Harts: The Life and Death of Owen Hart that was released in 2004, which is about their life together from when they met in High School, and the life they created for their two children. It is now published in several countries including theUnited States and the United Kingdom, with all proceeds allocated to charity
Every year, as a tribute to Owen Hart, Martha respectfully hosts a high profile fundraising event for the Owen Hart Foundation, which proudly attracts some of the biggest names in the entertainment community. In December 2000, she announced the opening of the Owen Hart Foundation; a Charity to help get college scholarships for children who have special needs. For the first three charity events it was for the YouVille Women's Residence for abused women. Every May, Martha hosts a Charity Foundation with a guest star; in recent years, guest stars have included, Bob Newhart 2004, Paul Anka 2005, Neil Sedaka 2006, Bill Cosby 2007, Howie Mandel 2008, Jerry Seinfeld 2009 - 10th Anniversary, Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band 2010. Martha has stated that she started the Owen Hart Foundation to create a meaningful legacy for Owen and because she knew Owen would be happy that he was helping people in his name, especially in the education field.