Norma Jean Mortenson (Marilyn Monroe)
It is not known who her father was, and eventually her mother, who had given her up on two occasions for years at a time, was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and Marilyn, then Norma, was put into an abusive foster home, then an orphanage, then from family to family, and back to the orphanage as a teen.
Beautiful and troubled, she quickly married at age 16, then went to work at the Radioplane factory, where she met a photographer for the Armed Forces actually sent to take photos of women supporting the war by his superior officer, Ronald Reagan. She began modeling for the photographer and signed a contract, using the name Jean Norman, dying her hair blond and specializing in pin up modeling, with a beauty and ambition that made her difficult to ignore. During those early years, as she was more and more becoming Marilyn Monroe, Norma Jean captured modeling roles as a swimsuit stunner, tennis player, and here is a perfect example of that time for her. This is a Norma Jean/Marilyn Monroe personally owned tennis racquet brace with photos of her “shoots” on the court.
It is framed with an original large signature by Marilyn Monroe on a “Reubens - That’s All” restaurant matchbook cover, a favorite place for New York young stars to go after filming for “The best cheesecake in New York”. Letter of provenance on the racquet brace is from Producer, radio celebrity and Marilyn Monroe super fan, Joe Franklin.