Recommended Books

My Story by Marilyn Monroe and Ben Hecht (Sep 29, 2006)
This is an autobiography written by Marilyn herself. In it she describes her childhood in foster care, her adolescent years, her rise as a celebrity, and her marriage to Joe DiMaggio. It is worth reading to understand her private point of view of a very public career.

Marilyn Monroe by Barbara Leaming (Feb 29, 2000)
Based on primary documents such as letters and interviews with people very close to Marilyn, this biography tells the tale of her life, focusing mainly on Marilyn’s sexual and psychological aspects. It provides details into how she developed her image and what led her to become America’s most compelling sexual icon in history. 

Marilyn in Fashion: The Enduring Influence of Marilyn Monroe by Christopher Nickens and George Zeno (Jul 3, 2012)

This book describes the influence of Marilyn Monroe’s fashion, from her sweet, innocent look early in her career to her more revealing sexual image later on. It is an excellent source for understanding how her “look” became famous in itself and had a great impact on the public’s vision of her as a sex symbol.

This book goes into depth on Marilyn’s personality and how her image conflicted with her character. She was a mature, sexual individual with a “dumb blonde” persona on the outside, but what most people don’t see is that she was truly an intelligent person with a childlike soul. If you are interested in getting to know the “real” Marilyn, this is the book to read.

Just six weeks before her tragic death, Marilyn attended her final photo-shoot with famous photographer of the 60’s Bert Stern. With nearly 2,600 photos displaying her fashion, portraits, and nudes, this book documents the eternal image of Marilyn that she was so famous for. 

Marilyn: Intimate Exposures by Susan Bernard, Jane Russell and Lindsay Lohan (Oct 4, 2011)
This book contains never-before published photos of Marilyn, covering key aspects of her life, from her first photo-shoot in 1946 through all of her acting career.  According to the book’s review on, Bruno Bernard’s photos of Marilyn are “synonymous with Hollywood glamour and sex appeal” and are therefore another excellent source for understanding her sexual image.
Marilyn Monroe: Metamorphosis by David Wills (Nov 8, 2011)
Another photo-book of Marilyn that includes spectacular photos from the works of Richard Avedon, George Barris, Cecil Beaton, Bernard of Hollywood, Andre de Dienes, Elliott Erwitt, Milton Greene, Philippe Halsman, Tom Kelley, Douglas Kirkland, Willy Rizzo, Sam Shaw, and many others. The photos extend from her wedding day in 1942 to just weeks before her death. It is a great example of how her style evolved throughout the years and an even better portrayal of her beauty.