Marilyn Monroe's pouting performance of Happy Birthday in a figure-hugging dress for the benefit of President Kennedy at Madison Square Garden in 1962 is exceptionally memorable. Certainly JFK seemed to think so, commenting,
"Thank you. I can now retire from politics after having had 'Happy Birthday' sung to me in such a sweet, wholesome way."
It was also Marilyn's last notable performance - less than three months later she would be found dead. Kennedy himself would be assassinated the following year.
So a photograph depicting both Marilyn and the President following the performance is naturally valuable. But in fact it is much more rare and collectible than that suggests: it is the only photo showing them together, and also the only one which shows Bobby Kennedy with Marilyn either.
The Cecil Stoughton shot, currently in the possession of film-maker and Marilyn collector Keya Morgan, was certainly not the only picture taken of the star with JFK. But the FBI and Secret Service were keen to restrict them.
After Monroe's death, rumours emerged that she might have been having an affair with one or other of the Kennedy brothers - perhaps giving a particular reason why the authorities were slightly paranoid about the images getting out.
The Stoughton photo only survived because the negatives were in the dryer when other photographs were being confiscated. Morgan bought all ten prints and gave one to Michael Jackson before the singer's death. He intends to keep hold of the other eight.
Morgan has also collected Monroe's bible and watch, which are currently on display along with the photograph at West Hollywood's Art & Artifact gallery where the photo will be sold on June 20 with a guide price of $23,000.
Morgan also possesses a film apparently showing Monroe smoking cannabis. He is currently working on a documentary entitled Marilyn Monroe: Murder on Fifth Helena Drive.
Collectors and investors who are interested in collecting Monroe memorabilia may be interested to know that several autographs by the star are currently available - and even an item of her lingerie - whilst a campaign programme signed by both John and Jackie Kennedy is also on the market.
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