Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jeane Baker on June 1, 1926. Her mother's name was Gladys Baker Mortensen. Baker being the name of her other two children and Mortensen the name of her last husband who disappeared just months after their marriage in 1924. Although Edward Mortensen was Gladys' husband at the time of Norma's birth, he was not her father. No one knows for sure who her father was, but it was believed that it was Gladys' lover C. Stanley Gifford . At just six months old, Norma Jeane was placed in a foster home because her mother was placed in an insane asylum for her mental breakdowns. In 1935, at age nine, she entered an orphanage and stayed there for two years. On the whole her childhood appears to have been passed in the care of people with comfortable homes and surroundings (Andersen 1994).
Her teenage ambition were set on becoming a starlet or pin-up that she saw in magazines. She did not think she has pretty enough face to become a real movie star. She soon learned, however, that she had the figure to make a successful pin-up. She was about fourteen when she began noticing the reactions of the boys at Van Nuys High School to her figure hugging sweaters \ She was wed to Jimmy Dougherty when she was only sixteen. When Jimmy was sent to war, Norma decided to get a job and got one at the aircraft plant in Los Angeles. When an army photographer, David Conover, from the First Motion Picture Unit came to the factory to take pictures of women doing war work he noticed Norma and her uniqueness and asked her if he could take more pictures of her. She agreed and without knowing it, Norma Jeane Dougherty was on her way (Andersen 1994).
"All little girls should be told they are pretty, even if they aren't."
She was pretty all right and graced the covers of thirty-three magazines in 1945. When her husband returned from war in 1946, he found that there was no room for him and his wife divorced...