Marilyn Monroe in red lipstick

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Through the many eras of Hollywood, only very few people have been able to wield the star power that Marilyn Monroe has so effortlessly wielded through the decades. Now, even 60 years after her death, Monroe remains one of the most famous women in the world. But what’s not to like, really? Monroe was talented in her own right, was an absolute beauty, and perhaps most admirable, was a civil rights advocate, as reported by Biography.

And if there is anything Monroe’s fame has translated to, it is an interest in her personal and love life. The ultimate sex symbol of the ’50s and ’60s, Monroe was reportedly linked to some of the world’s famous men, including Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, and most infamously, President John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy, per People.

Most interesting, however, are Monroe’s three marriages. According to Cosmopolitan, the "Some Like it Hot" star first got married in 1942 to a boy named James Dougherty to avoid getting sent back to an orphanage. The marriage lasted only a few years, ending in 1946, just as Monroe was getting her footing in Hollywood. In addition to Dougherty, Monroe was married to playwright Arthur Miller for five years between 1956 and 1961. But perhaps the most famous of her marriages was the one with Joe DiMaggio — a baseball star who loved her till the very end.

Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio both came from humble backgrounds

Joe DiMaggio smiling

Born Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1, 1926, Marilyn Monroe’s childhood was anything but rosy. She never knew her father, and according to Biography, her mother, Gladys Baker, was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, leaving a young Monroe at the mercy of foster homes — and one point, an orphanage. Living without her mother left Monroe feeling neglected — a pain she carried to her adult years. "I’m not calling myself an orphan," she once said (via Newsweek). "I was brought up a waif. Yeah, I was never used to being happy. So that wasn’t something I was sort of counting on."

Also notable about the actor’s childhood was the poverty that plagued the families she lived with and consequentially plagued her. One family was so poor they could not afford to spend too much on water bills. The result? They had their bath in the same water — and Monroe was always last. "I never minded coming ‘last’ in these families except on Saturday nights when everybody took a bath," she wrote in her book "My Story" (via Showbiz CheatSheet). "The whole family used the same tub of water. And I was always the last one in."

Similar to Monroe, Joe DiMaggio was raised in a low-income family. Per Biography, Joe was the last of eight children born to Italian immigrants Rosalia DiMaggio and Giuseppe DiMaggio — a fisherman who hoped his sons would take over the family business.

Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio met in the early ’50s

Marilyn Monroe smiling

Per WWD, Marilyn Monroe first met Joe DiMaggio in 1952 after he asked to be introduced to the actor. Still an upcoming actor at the time, Monroe expected to be met with an arrogant DiMaggio, given that he was freshly retired from a successful baseball career. "I expected a flashy New York sports type, and instead, I met this reserved guy who didn’t make a pass at me right away," she wrote in her 1993 memoir. "He treated me like something special."

The pair immediately hit things off and soon started a relationship –albeit long distance. While Monroe lived on the West Coast, DiMaggio was on the East. This, however, did not get in the way of their love. Monroe and DiMaggio had their differences, yet they shared a lot in common. "The truth is that we were very much alike," Monroe said in her memoir. "My publicity, like Joe’s greatness, is something on the outside. It has nothing to do with what we actually are."

However, the pair’s indifference to fame was not the only thing that brought them together. Intimately, Monroe and DiMaggio got along just fine. "When we got together in the bedroom, it was like the gods were fighting; there were thunderclouds and lightning above us," the baseball player recalled in "Dinner With DiMaggio: Memories of an American Hero."

Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio’s marriage was troubled from the beginning

Joe DiMaggio

Given the chemistry they shared from the beginning, it did not take long for Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio to take things to the next level. "We knew it wouldn’t be an easy marriage," Monroe admitted in her memoir. "On the other hand, we couldn’t keep on going forever as a pair of cross-country lovers. It might begin to hurt both our careers."

And so, on January 14, 1954, Monroe and DiMaggio married in an intimate ceremony at City Hall, San Francisco. Following their wedding, the couple flew to Japan for their honeymoon, and there it appears, their troubles started. Per Biography, while still honeymooning in Japan, the "Some Like It Hot" star was invited to perform for U.S. troops in Korea. "Go if you want to. It’s your honeymoon," DiMaggio reportedly told Monroe, per his biography, "DiMaggio: The Hero’s Life." Agreeing to the invitation, Monroe traveled to Korea, leaving her husband back in Japan, which posed a problem.

Upon her arrival, Monroe and her husband reportedly got into multiple fights, with Richard Ben Cramer hinting in "DiMaggio: The Hero’s Life" that DiMaggio might have hit the actress right there in Japan during their honeymoon. It was the beginning for Monroe and DiMaggio — but it was only the beginning of the end.

Joe DiMaggio was reportedly jealous of Marilyn’s career

Marilyn Monroe

Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe were Hollywood’s "It" couple, but their marriage was rocky behind closed doors. The baseball star became insecure about his wife’s success and the attention that came with it. Multiple outlets report that the baseball star was uncomfortable with his wife’s perception as a sex symbol, leading to a tough time for the couple. Monroe reportedly confirmed (via PBS) this to actor Brad Dexter with whom she was friends at the time. "He doesn’t want to know about my business," Monroe said. "He doesn’t want to know about my work as an actress. He doesn’t want me to associate with any of my friends. He wants to cut me off completely from my whole world of motion pictures, friends, and creative people that I know."

For DiMaggio, Monroe’s fame was a bruise to his ego — after all, it was only a short time ago that he used to get all the attention. And so he continually tried to get her to quit acting — something his friend Norman Brokaw, a Hollywood agent, warned him against. "There’s no actress in this business who is going to give up Clark Gable or Tyrone Power or Spencer Tracy for any man," Brokaw told DiMaggio (via the Daily Mail). "So you have to get used to it. Or, honest to God, you’re going to lose her." And lose her, he did.

Their divorce stemmed from a number of reasons

Marilyn and Joe kissing

The final straw in Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio’s tumultuous relationship came in 1954 while she was filming "The Seven Year Itch." DiMaggio, alongside thousands of other onlookers, was present on set when she shot the now famous flying skirt scene. Per the Daily Mail, actor Bill Wilder described DiMaggio as having "the look of death" as he watched his wife relish her skirt flying above her knees, sometimes going as high as her face. Upon getting home, the couple got into a big fight that seemingly ended with the baseball player hitting Monroe.

In October 1954, Monroe announced her divorce from DiMaggio, citing mental cruelty. Standing before a judge, Monroe admitted, per UPI, that she had hoped her marriage to DiMaggio would be filled with love, warmth, and affection, instead, she described the baseball player as cold and indifferent. My husband would get into moods when he wouldn’t speak to me for periods of sometimes 10 days," she said. "If I would try to reproach him usually he wouldn’t answer at all. When he would he would say, ‘Leave me alone.’"’

But while this is the widely known reason for the divorce, biographer Dr. Positano believes it was for another reason. "From Joe’s point of view, they didn’t stay married because Marilyn was not able to have children. It was as simple as that," Positano wrote in "Dinner with DiMaggio: Memories of an American Hero."

Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe remained close after their divorce

Marilyn Monroe smiling

Despite an incredibly tumultuous marriage, Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio managed to stay cordial after their divorce. According to the New York Post, Monroe underwent surgery only a few weeks after their divorce. DiMaggio was not only by her side at the hospital, but he was also there as she recuperated at home. Monroe and DiMaggio apparently never stopped loving each other as they reportedly continued having a sexual relationship after separating.

Ironically, DiMaggio was Monroe’s date to the premiere of "The Seven Year Itch" — the very movie that allegedly led to their divorce. In 1961, when the "Some Like It Hot" actor was forcefully admitted to a psychiatric home during a low point in her life, DiMaggio secured her release, per Vanity Fair. Though Monroe never gave up on finding love, DiMaggio had a special place in her heart till the very end.

As reported by Vanity Fair, after her death, a letter addressed to DiMaggio was found in Monroe’s room. "Dear Joe," the letter read (via Vanity Fair). "If I can only succeed in making you happy — I will have succeeded in the bigest [sic] and most difficult thing there is — that is to make one person completely happy."

Joe DiMaggio reportedly knew the mystery surrounding Marilyn’s death

Marilyn Monroe smiling

On August 5, 1962, Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her Los Angeles home. She was 36. According to The New York Times, Monroe died after overdosing on pills prescribed to aid her sleeping problems. Through the years, however, there have been many conspiracy theories surrounding Monroe’s death. Famously rumored to have been in a romantic relationship with former President John F. Kennedy and later, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, per People, the actor’s death is heavily linked to the two brothers in some circles.

As reported by The Wrap, some believe the Kennedys were involved in her death due to her purported affairs, while some have alleged that the actress knew too much incriminating information about the former president. Whether or not there is any truth to these theories is a mystery that remains unanswered. But for those closest to Monroe — including DiMaggio — Monroe’s cause of death is apparently not up for debate

"I always knew who killed her, but I didn’t want to start a revolution in this country," DiMaggio said in his biography. "She told me someone would do her in, but I kept quiet." The baseball star reportedly later said that he knew the Kennedys were no good for the actress.

Joe DiMaggio looked after Marilyn – even in death

Marilyn Monroe, smiling

Marilyn Monroe might have had a turbulent life, but Joe DiMaggio lauded her legacy long after her death and remained her confidante till the very end. Having no closer friend at the time, authorities informed DiMaggio of Monroe’s death. Proving himself a loyal friend, the baseball star planned and executed Monroe’s funeral, making sure to keep several Hollywood stars from attending. "Tell them," DiMaggio said (via PBS). "If it wasn’t for them, she’d still be here."

Though neither confirmed it, there are rumors that Monroe and DiMaggio were planning to re-marry when she died. Per ABC News, the pair’s ceremony was set to happen on August 8, 1962 — the day she was eventually buried. Therefore, it makes sense that DiMaggio, even in death, loved and adored Monroe.

According to The Vintage News, DiMaggio had half a dozen roses delivered to Monroe’s crypt thrice weekly for 20 years. In 1982, Ellensburg Daily Record reported that the flower delivery had reduced to twice a week. DiMaggio was no longer sending flowers by the time he died in 1999, but his love for Monroe never wavered. "I’ll finally get to see Marilyn," DiMaggio reportedly whispered (via ABC News) on his death bed.