January 14, 1954 – Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio
Image by 20th Century Fox
The bride wore a brown suit with an ermine collar, and the groom wore a blue suit and tie. They were deluged by photographers, who found out about the wedding when Marilyn notified her studio the day before. Lovely mayhem ensued.
An article written for the San Francisco Chronicle on January 15, 1954 by a journalist amusingly named Art Hoppe (why aren’t more people named Art these days?), gives a detailed account of the occasion, faithfully mentioning even the fact that the judge had to eject everyone out of his chambers to “preserve the solemnity of the occasion”, and that eventually Marilyn’s lipstick was all over Joe’s face.
It may seem like many moons ago, but Marilyn’s and Joe’s marriage was, and still is, one of the most famous marriages in history. At that time they were both at the height of their respective fame – she in the movies, he in baseball. To put it in today’s terms, the Daily Mail readers would probably refer to them as ‘MonJoe’.
The couple dated for two years before Joe proposed on New Year’s Eve 1953, allegedly to the surprise of Marilyn. She accepted and shortly after (two weeks after) they were married. It was only unfortunate that, by many accounts, Joe didn’t like being married to a movie star. He was rich and famous himself, but also very traditional – he wanted his wife to stay at home. Marilyn tried to conform, but in the end her whole life was in the movies, it just couldn’t work.
In the end, it was the romance that mattered. And even though they parted ways just nine months after the wedding, she remained the love of his life. When Marilyn passed away in 1962, it was Joe who arranged the funeral, and thereafter sent fresh red roses every two weeks to her crypt until his own death. His famous last words, on his deathbed in 1999, were “I’ll finally get to see Marilyn”.
The ring that Joe proposed with was put on a Hollywood memorabilia auction at the end of 2011.
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