8. Marilyn’s First Marriage Was Out of Need
When Marilyn was 16, her foster family had plans to move to West Virginia, but as a minor she couldn’t go with and would have to return to an orphanage. To avoid that fate, she married her neighbor’s son James Dougherty. As a dutiful new wife, the young woman gave up her educational career to become a housewife.
7. But The Marriage Didn’t Last Long
A year into Marilyn’s marriage, her husband enlisted in the Merchant Marines, which ultimately led to him being shipped off to the Pacific. Marilyn stayed behind and moved in with Jim’s parents, at which point she went to work at the Radioplane Munitions Factory to earn herself an income in his absence.
6. Marilyn Soon Started Modeling
Marilyn’s first modeling photos were actually taken for the U.S. Army Air Force First Motion Picture Unit, with the intention of trying to encourage other women to start working in the factories as well. Those photos were never used, however, and the next time modeled was for photographer David Conover.
5. Marilyn Went Blonde in 1945
In 1945 Norma signed with the Blue Book Model Agency, and upon doing so she dyed her hair blonde and straightened it in an effort to book more jobs. Book jobs she did, and she started to do a lot of advertisements in men’s magazines. It was in 1946 that she started going by her stage name Marilyn Monroe. But she almost went with a different name as you’ll see in item number four.
4. Marilyn Almost Wasn’t Marilyn
Marilyn Monroe was actually almost Jean Adair. Jean was the name that she first considered when she was choosing a stage name, but ultimately she went with Marilyn. However, she did not actually change her name legally to Marilyn Monroe until Feb. 23, 1956. Jean Adair is a pretty good name too, but history could have been changed by the different decision.