A rare negative, taken during her first professional photo shoot when she was 20 years old, has been sold at auction in England. Not this shot, taken during her heyday, but the portrait below.
The unknown Norma Jeane Baker, newly married and working in a factory in 1946, was spotted by a passing military government photographer, who told her she could be a model.
An aspiring photographer Joseph Jasgur was assigned to put her first portfolio together. He took her to Zuma beach in Malibu for a few pictures, which were later presented to Ben Lyon, casting director at 20th Century Fox. The pictures established his career and helped create the star who would go on to become the legend Marilyn Monroe.
The English auction house, which has a reputation for selling anything connected to the doomed Titanic liner, is now branching out into celebrity memorabilia. And the owner of the photograph, an American, passed up the opportunity to sell it in the US, preferring Devizes.
So luck played a part in the star's success. Anyone telling you stardom is achieved by hard work and dedication is avoiding the truth. Many stars use whatever means necessary in clawing their way up to an important person.
When you read of the star's unhappy moments and pitiful life, you would be forgiven for thinking the road she took is not worth the success she achieved.
Just as there are many forms of beauty, there are many beautiful women in the world and of course they are not all renown. My own mother looked so similar to the young woman in this picture. I prefer to remember the slowly fading beauty of my mother's face, her gentle understanding, her unquenchable belief in her children.
What do you think makes a beautiful woman?