Marilyn Monroe’s first husband gets nostalgic (1976)

Marilyn Monroe first husband waxes nostalgic

“She would have been 50 this June,” said James Dougherty as he gazed at a likeness of his former wife, Norma Jeane Mortenson, during a visit to San Francisco’s Wax Museum at Fisherman’s Wharf. “If I hadn’t gone into the Merchant Marine during World War II, she would still be Mrs Dougherty today.” [They were married from 1942 to 1946.]

But their marriage, the first for both, lasted only four years. Dougherty became a Los Angeles cop, remarried and had three children. Norma Jeane (16 when the pair wed) metamorphosed into Marilyn Monroe.

“Our life was idyllic, sexually and otherwise,” claims Dougherty, who has written a book about it. (Norma Jean thought differently.)

>> See his book, To Norma Jeane, With Love, Jimmie, here

Now retired and living in Mohave, Arizona, Dougherty has no Pygmalion desire to bring this waxwork version back to life. “I only ever knew Norma Jeane,” he says. “I never knew Marilyn Monroe.”

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