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He studied history at the University of Bucharest, and earned a Ph.D. with a thesis on the role and evolution of the Communist-era secret police, the Securitate between 1948 and 1964 (Rolul şi evoluţia Securităţii, 1948-1964). Oprea currently works as a journalist and researcher at the Romanian Institute of Recent History (IRIR). He also serves as the president of the Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes in Romania
His debut as a poet was the participation in the volume Pauza de respiraţie ("Pause for Breathing"), together with Simona Popescu, Caius Dobrescu, and Andrei Bodiu.
Marius Oprea lives with his family in Braşov.