Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    DiMaggio Joseph. Autograph letter signed ("Joe") on "The Madison" hotel letterhead stationery, 3 pages (10 ? x 8 ½ in.; 276 x 216 mm.), "New York," [c. 15 July 1952] accompanied with a hand-addressed airmail transmittal envelope, postmarked "GRAND CENTRAL STA., New York, N.Y. JUL 15, 1952 4:30 PM," addressed to: "Miss Marilyn Monroe, Bel-Air Hotel, Beverly Hills [Los Angeles], California"-stamped "VIA AIR MAIL-SPECIAL DELIVERY." Joe DiMaggio, courting his future wife, Marilyn Monroe, begs forgiveness for an outburst in which he badly hurt her feelings, just four months after their first meeting. DiMaggio pens in full: Dear Marilyn, I just got through talking with you-and I don't know what else to say than I have already said. However, it bothers me (call it guilt or what have you) to think about what happened the day I left for New York. I definately [sic] am punishing myself. I have always felt that I've been able to 'take' it, but in this particular instance, I find myself rather cold. It annoys me no end to think that I have 'bit' your feelings: you of all people, would be the last one I'd hurt! It has never been my nature to do that to anyone, and I'm certainly not going to start now. I'd rather take an 'airship'-bow out gracefully is what I mean-rather than give you any misieres [sic; i.e., plural of misery], and please don't get the idea I am saying these things because I want things to change -on the contrary, I have among other things great respect for you. For the time that I know you-you have done nothing but good-for me and some of your acquaintances-you have done nothing but take the worse of things when other people are involved in rough spots, and in our mild mannered way, people have taken advantage of you. I know all these things about you, and a lot more. I guess I could also mention how much you try, in everything that you do. Especially when you were here and went shopping just to please me. So you see Marilyn, I appreciate you as a real, solid, human soul, with tremendous inner feelings. What you have already read has been put mildly and very brief. I am handing you the 'deck' of cards now-you schuffle [sic] them and deal; all I ask is you forgive me. Love Joe. DiMaggio, one of the greatest center fielders of all time, retired from baseball in 1951. In 13 seasons with the New York Yankees, DiMaggio compiled a .325 batting average, hit 361 home runs, led the American League twice in batting and was the league's Most Valuable Player three times (1939, 1941, 1947). At 37, "Joltin Joe", the famed Yankee Clipper, had his first date with twenty-five-year-old Marilyn Monroe in early 1952. A double date was set up at the Villa Nova restaurant in Hollywood. Marilyn, who was on the verge of becoming the most famous star in Hollywood history, was to say about their first meeting: "I had thought I was going to meet a loud sporty fellow. Instead I found myself smiling at a reserved gentleman in a gray suit, with a gray tie and a sprinkle of gray in his hair. There were a few blue polka dots in his tie. If I hadn't been told he was some sort of ball player, I would have guessed he was either a steel magnate or a congressman." Despite their mutual indifference to each other (she to baseball, he to movie making), they soon became mysteriously attracted to each other, though Marilyn was to admit: "I was surprised to be so crazy about Joe. 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. I had dinner with him almost every night for two weeks. He treated me like something special. Joe is a very decent man, and he makes other people feel decent, too." Soon, the two became a "hot item" in Hollywood over the next year, though their courtship was filled with problems. When they first met, DiMaggio was the more popular celebrity of the two. However, by the end of 1953, Marilyn had become a very popular public personality and craved the glitz, glamour and public spectacle that she made of herself. In contrast, Joe craved privacy and hated cameras and publicity. This very early letter sums up the stormy relationship between Joe and Marilyn, one prone to outbursts, followed by lengthy and emotional pleas for forgiveness and brief reconciliations. He was proud of Marilyn's beauty, but became instantly jealous if she was admired by strange men or if she wore revealing dresses that embarrassed him in public. And Marilyn was just at the beginning of her meteoric rise to stardom on a career path that did not jive well with his hope, as a retired ballplayer, that she would settle down and become the most glamorous "housewife" in the world. They were both personalities whose careers depended upon their "sex" appeal-their physical charms and abilities-and they both hated phonies and fakes. Yet, they were ultimately an inappropriate couple doomed in an ongoing, deeply troubled relationship, which ended 27 October 1954, nine months after they wed.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2012
    18th Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 66
    Sold on Dec 18, 2012 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2022 March 19 Inaugural J. Doyle Dewitt Collection Americana & Political Signature® Auction .

    Learn about consigning with us

    Thanks a million for getting approval to sell my Civil War Hospital Death Ledger! You made them AND ME , a nice profit. You are the best!
    Ed W.,
    Mount Vernon, OH
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search