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Lot #472
Marilyn Monroe Autograph Letter Signed (1944) as "Norma Jeane"

The pre-fame "Norma Jeane" visits her former caretaker in 1944: "I'm having a grand time in Chicago"

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Estimate: $5000+
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The pre-fame "Norma Jeane" visits her former caretaker in 1944: "I'm having a grand time in Chicago"

ALS signed “Love, Norma Jeane,” one page on a 5.5 x 3.5 postcard of Chicago's New Michigan Avenue, no date but postmarked October 28, [1944]. Handwritten letter to her friend Jeanette Cox in Los Angeles, in full: "I'm sorry I didn't see you just before I left, but everything seemed to have happened all of of [sic] sudden. I'm having a grand time in Chicago. Will be seeing you soon." In fine condition. Encapsulated in a PSA/DNA authentication holder.

Discontent with the constant departures of her Merchant Marine husband Jim Dougherty, Norma Jeane decided to embark on her first railroad trip in October 1944. After first visiting her half-sister Berniece in Detroit, Norma Jeane moved on to Chicago to see her previous caretaker and beloved mother figure, Grace Goddard. Although the trip was cut short when Dougherty unexpectedly announced that he would be returning soon to California, the solo journey provided a great boost in confidence for Norma Jeane. Not long after returning home, she was discovered by Army photographer David Conover who arrived at Radioplane to snap morale-boosting pictures of female workers for the First Motion Picture Unit. The attention Norma Jeane received spurred the bubbly redhead to quit her job from the factory in early 1945, and, not long after, sign on with the Blue Book Modeling Agency. An early and significant handwritten letter from the future icon.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts Featuring Animation
  • Dates: #668 - Ended June 14, 2023