The movie piqued my interest in learning more about Monroe, so I read her short autobiography, "My Story, Illustrated Edition". The book ends abruptly after she marries Joe DiMaggio, but leaves you with a lot of insight into her character. There is one haunting line from her book, the last sentence in chapter 13: "I was the kind of girl they found dead in a hall bedroom with an empty bottle of sleeping pills in her hand."
I was struck with the impact photographers had in promoting and helping her launch a career as an actress. Photographers were her friends, and "My Story" is forwarded by Joshua Greene, son of photographer Milton Greene, who was also Monroe's production company business partner.
Here is a photo of Monroe, by David Conover, before she became a blond star, from an exhibit at the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport, New York. The exhibit of an aircraft engine had the caption and text:
"Righter Aircraft Engine"
"Manufactured in 1943 by the Righter Manufacturing Co., this engine was used in radio controlled target drones such as the example hanging above. This reusable drone was the specific product of the Radioplane Company. Both firms were located in California."
"On 26 June 1945, a photographer was sent to Radioplane by his commanding officer, Captain Ronald Reagen[Reagan], to photograph women war workers. An attractive young woman named Norma Jean Dougherty was among those selected to pose for the camera at various locations in the plant. The photographer was so impressed with her, that he shared the images with his professional colleagues and encouraged Normal Jean to become a model. Norma Jean went on to become an actress by the name of Marilyn Monroe."