ALS in pencil signed “Norma Jeane,” two pages, 5.25 x 8.25, postmarked January 17, 1945. Letter to her legal guardian, Grace (McKee) Goddard, in full (spelling and grammar retained): “Well Jimmie is here now, he arrived in San Francisco about three weeks ago and will be here about a week or so more. Last week Jimmie and I were at Big Bear for eight days, we had a wonderful time and met a lot of wonderful people. Thank you so much for sending the book of Business English, and for the Encyclopedia. I didn't have an Encyclopedia and I really did need one so I am most grateful to you. Aunt Ana gave me a dictionary yesterday so I was very happy about that although I had a dictionary, it was simply falling apart. I recieved a letter from Berniece recently and she and Paris have moved to Oak Ridge, Tenn. They are both working for Eastman Co. Her address is W. V. 39, Room 123, Oak Ridge, Tenn. I will have to make this rather short because I have so many things to do so I shall write to you soon again. Thank you again, dear." Monroe adds a brief postscript: “Give Daddy and Bebe my love." In fine condition, with light stains to the left edge of the first page, and opening-related tears to the mailing envelope. Accompanied by the original mailing envelope, addressed by Monroe who incorporates her signature into return address field, "Mrs. J. E. Dougherty."
At the age of 17, Norma Jeane Doughtery worked 10-hour days at the Radioplane Company in Burbank, California, a World War II defense plant that tasked her with checking and spraying parachutes. She was the wife of James “Jimmie” Dougherty, a young United States merchant seaman assigned overseas, and she lived with his parents during his deployment. In June 1944, Army photographer David Conover arrived at Radioplane to snap morale-boosting pictures of female workers for the First Motion Picture Unit. He discovered the bubbly redhead and took several photos of her holding a propeller; the images and resulting attention spurred Jeane to quit her job from the factory in January 1945, and, not long after, sign on with the Blue Book Modeling Agency. By the fall of the following year, Norma Jeane had become Marilyn Monroe, newly divorced and on the payroll at 20th Century Fox.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.