A Marilyn Monroe Received National Variety Artists Donation Request Letter
From the personal files of Marilyn Monroe: A solicitation letter from National Variety Artists requesting that Marilyn insert her autograph in the 1956 edition of the Al Jolson Memorial Book at a cost of $10.00. The memorial book was then sold to raise money to support artists from the vaudeville era. This organization worked to provide housing, medical and financial services for retired performers. Attached to the letter is a cutout from the actual memorial book showing Marilyn’s autograph.
Also included is a check from Marilyn Monroe Productions, signed by Milton Greene, paying for the $10.00 donation.
Marilyn Monroe & Charitable Causes
Among friends and colleagues, Marilyn Monroe was renowned for her generosity in helping others wherever she could. Below are just some of the causes Marilyn donated time and/or money to:
1953: A benefit for underprivileged children cared for by Jude’s Hospital. Marilyn sang with Jane Russell at the Hollywood Bowl
1955: Marilyn worked with WAIF, an organization that placed abandoned children in homes. Jane Russell enlisted Marilyn’s help.
1955: Marilyn’s appearance at a circus sponsored by Mike Todd at Madison Square Garden in New York City benefited the Arthritis and Rheumatism Foundation. She appeared astride a pink elephant.
1957: Marilyn gave earnings from the world premiere of The Prince and The Showgirl to The Milk Fund for Babies.
1962: Marilyn’s final public appearance was at a muscular dystrophy benefit held at Chavez Ravin Dodger Stadium in Los Angels on June 1, her 36th and final birthday.
Marilyn’s final charitable donation was her largest: In her will, she left 25% of her estate to former psychiatrist, Dr. Marianne Kris, “to be used for the furtherance of the work of such psychiatric institutions or groups as she shall elect.” Knowing Marilyn’s enormous love for children, Kris chose the Anna Freud Children’s Clinic of London.
Fact or Fiction? In 1962, Marilyn visited an orphanage during her trip to Mexico. Her initial donation was $1,000.00. She ripped up the check and replaced it with another for a $10,000.00 donation. That night was one of the few nights in her later life that she recalled sleeping without the aid of sleeping pills.
It’s Fiction: While it’s true that Marilyn visited an orphanage during her 1962 Mexico trip, there is no evidence in Marilyn’s 1962 financial documentation (now part of this collection – view here) of having made either donation.