Joe Dimaggio and Marilyn Monroe started dating in 1952. They dated while Marilyn was becoming a successful movie star. When they got married in 1954, they flew to Japan for their honeymoon. Marilyn left to visit troops in Korea while Joe stayed for baseball events. Joe wanted Marilyn to settle down with him, but she wanted to continue with her career. He supported her, but asked her to not wear any low cut dresses in public, which she agreed to. Joe was on set the day of her famous white dress scene, but became upset as his wife’s dress lifted up to her waist, leaving her uncovered in front of hundreds of men who cheered, whistled and yelled at the blonde bombshell. Shortly after that, Marilyn filed for divorce, realizing Joe wasn’t as excited about the attention she received.
They remained very close and Joe even went as Marilyn’s escort to the film premiere. He was there for Marilyn through many hardships that came to her in terms of both, her career and personal life. Joe demanded Marilyn to leave Payne Whitney hospital, where she received psychological treatment due to her barbiturate abuse and depression. He convinced her to come home from New York, took her on vacation in 1961, and exchanged telegrams and phone calls frequently. Joe quit his job in San Diego to be closer to her shortly after her divorce to Arthur Miller.
He asked her to remarry him on August, 1st, 1962. On August 5th, four days later, she was found dead. Joe Dimaggio arranged Marilyn’s funeral, not allowing any of her Hollywood friends to attend. He held a private vigile over her body the night before her funeral. At the end of her funeral when he went up to her body, he kissed her on the forehead and whispered “I love you, I love you, I love you.” Joe had a heart made of hundreds of roses that day.
Following her death, he had half a dozen french red roses delivered to her grave 3 times a week.. for 20 years. He never remarried. He never spoke about their relationship or her death publicly, hoping to reserve what he held most dearly, her privacy. He was offered huge amounts of money for interviews he always turned down, refusing to make any money off of the love of his life.
Joe Dimaggio’s last words, before dying of lung cancer on January 19, 1999 at age 84, were:
“I don’t mind that I’m dying, at least I’ll get to see Marilyn again.”