“At fifty-one, DiMaggio is a distinguished-looking man, as handsome as he is on the ball field, impeccably dressed, manicured, and six-foot-five,” he said. This is how American journalist Kay Thales describes Joe DiMaggio, the pride of American sports. The journal was published under the title “Hero’s Peace”. Esquire In 1966, four years after the death of DiMaggio’s ex-wife Marilyn Monroe. This is one of the best profiles you will ever read on an athlete. Talese (now 90) and DiMaggio (Giuseppe Paolo Di Maggio; California, November 25, 1914-Florida, March 8, 1999) were the best in their field. The text is included in a book entitled A hero’s silence (Alfaguara) and includes great profiles of other athletes.
The DiMaggio thing comes to mind in these hours of talk about Monroe, because it has just been released – in various audiovisual options – Blonde (Blonde), a film based on the book of the same title written by author Joyce Carol Oates. Who is the author of another great sports book: Boxing (Alfaqura). Marilyn, the unattainable desire of generations, was DiMaggio’s great love who never lived up to her death on August 4, 1962.
DiMaggio – the mascot of the New York Yankees – separated from actress Dorothy Arnold in 1944. He met Marilyn in 1952 and they married two years later. He was 39 and she was 27. When they separated after 274 days of marriage, he was already an international figure, having gone out with writer Arthur Miller, whom they split in 1961 due to personal and work problems. She became addicted to drugs, depressed and had conflicts with big producers.
DiMaggio couldn’t contain his jealousy. They say there were screams and blows. In Blonde they show him a puncture. She appeared once with a black eye. A honeymoon was celebrated in Tokyo, where he had the opportunity to conclude contracts. As part of a USO (United Service Organizations) program to inspire American soldiers, a general took advantage of the couple’s trip and asked Marilyn to sing for them in Korea. He sang and mesmerized 60,000 Marines over four days and ten performances. “You don’t know what it’s like to have 60,000 people cheering you on,” Marilyn told Joe. “Yes, I know,” replied the North American sports giant. “He was fed up with publicity; She was very good. He could not bear to wait; “She was always late,” Talies compares.
In September, the relationship ended when Marilyn was photographed in an iconic moment on the subway. The white dress flutters in the wind and the legs are exposed. Hundreds of witnesses attended the shooting. Among them, DiMaggio. At that time a great photograph was advertising. Vintage photos and videos show ecstatic men watching the film.
From his interview, he says he spoke with some neighbors of the Fisherman’s Wharf restaurant in San Francisco, where DiMaggio owned and spent his days. “Fishermen also remember that after retiring in 1951, DiMaggio took his second wife, Marilyn, to live near the docks, and they would sometimes spend early mornings with DiMaggio’s boat, the Yankee Clipper, now moored discreetly in the marina. They would sit on the jetty in the evenings and chat. The fishermen also knew that they quarreled, and One night they find Marilyn running frantically, crying, down the road from the docks, and Joe follows her. But the fishermen pretend not to notice; it’s none of his business. They know Joe wants Marilyn to stay in San Francisco and avoid the Hollywood sharks, but at the time she’s confused and distraught – ‘She’s a woman,’ they said – and today DiMaggio still hates Los Angeles and many others who live in this city.
When he went to interview Marilyn “two or three years after her death,” DiMaggio kicked Talies out of the restaurant. “I was rejected, and I was stunned, but it also showed me the opening scene of the essay, where DiMaggio kicks me off campus,” she says. The athlete refused to talk about his ex-wife. He had a grudge against his friend Frank Sinatra. Sinatra was part of Marilyn’s love list along with Tony Curtis, Yves Montand, brothers John and Robert Kennedy, Clark Gable and Marlon Brando. DiMaggio also added them to his blacklist. Before her death, DiMaggio had arranged for her to be removed from a private psychiatric hospital. They were shown as friends together and there were even speculations that they would pair up again.
May 19, 1962 was the memorable day when Marilyn sang “Happy Birthday Mr. President” to John Fitzgerald Kennedy. At the time, Talese reads, “he and Marilyn planned to remarry; but he died before he could, and DiMaggio vetoed the presence of Sinatra and many other Hollywood people at his funeral (…).” Had those friends not talked her into staying in Hollywood, she “She would have gone on with her life,” DiMaggio used to lament.
After days of denying him an interview, DiMaggio finally agreed to speak to Thales. First they met at a golf game, then they shared social gatherings, and finally they “flew to the Yankees’ spring training camp in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where I was the hitting instructor.”
Talese didn’t ask him about Marilyn, but pieced together a puzzle between articles and witnesses: “Following a warning from one of DiMaggio’s friends, they didn’t ask him directly about his personal life with the late Marilyn Monroe, his marriage breakdown, they said. It caused him great sadness and despair.” Try to see his pained face in the funeral photos.
In the twenty years since his death, they haven’t even talked about the flowers he sent three times a week to his grave at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. On September 1, 1982, he contacted Parisien Florist in Hollywood to stop sending roses every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
If not rebooted, only know they were there after rebooting. When it comes to Marilyn and DiMaggio, there are those who remember the legendary Bob Hope, as he dedicated his song The Second Time to them at the 1960 Oscars. “The second time’s better, baby / The second time / I’ll do better than the first time / You know I love you so much / I paid for my mistakes, yes I did,” reads one stanza.
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