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Marilyn’s San Francisco

January 27, 2021

Imagine it’s 1954 and you’re walking around San Francisco and suddenly there she is: Miss Marilyn Monroe.

When you (somehow! finally!) manage to tear your eyes away, you see that the man walking beside her is the City’s own golden-boy/son-of-a-Sicilian-fisherman-turned-all-American legend, Joe DiMaggio.

And then it comes to you, that front-page story in the Chronicle, the one that started with “Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio wedded the girl of his and many other men’s dreams yesterday. . .”

Leaving City Hall after the civil ceremony
Passport photos for Monroe and DiMaggio’s honeymoon trip

So it’s true what you’ve heard: she’s gone and quit Hollywood. She’s Mrs. DiMaggio now.

What, you wonder, does the most famous woman in the world do in San Francisco?

She plays house in a stucco home in the Marina. She packs paper bag lunches and slips on jeans and moccasins and goes sailing on the Bay. She shops at Magnin’s in Union Square. She rides cable cars. She visits her in-laws. She goes out to eat in Chinatown.

The DiMaggios’ home in the Marina District

Marilyn shopping in Union Square

But what she does most of all is try to dodge her husband’s jealousy.

She tries, but she fails.

In less than a year, the “Marriage of a Century” is over—and it’s like she was never here at all.

(Oh, but she was. She really was.)