It’s 3:00 a.m. on the morning of August 6, 1962. Norma Jeane Mortenson’s housekeeper is trying to raise her boss, but the bedroom door is locked. Panicking, the maid calls Mortenson’s psychiatrist who rushes to the scene. The doctor then breaks into Mortenson’s room only to find her dead. Mortenson is of course much better known as Marilyn Monroe – and her death will have a devastating impact on another American legend: Joe DiMaggio.
Before we delve deeper into the tragic love story of Monroe and DiMaggio, let’s find out a little more about the lives of these two American icons. First up, Joe DiMaggio, who was born in 1914 in the small fishing community of Martinez in California – about a 40-minute drive north-east of San Francisco.
DiMaggio was the second youngest of nine children. His parents, Giuseppe and Rosalie, had arrived in America from Sicily in 1898 and settled in California. Giuseppe worked as a fisherman and subsequently relocated the family while Joe was still just a baby. The DiMaggios moved to North Beach – a neighbourhood close to the San Francisco waterfront that was popular with families of Italian heritage.