Monroe’s gift to Kennedy fetches $120,000

Gold Rolex watch presented to President Kennedy by Marilyn Monroe on May 29, 1962. Sold for $120,000

A watch that Marilyn Monroe reportedly gave President Kennedy as a birthday gift fetched $120,000 at sales organized by Alexander Autographs auction house in Greenwich, Connecticut on Saturday, October 19. The gold Rolex is inscribed: «Jack, With love as always from Marilyn May 29th 1962». The exceptional watch was bought by an anonymous East Coast collector.

The watchcase contains a poem, written on a small piece of paper, titled, «A Heartfelt Plea on Your Birthday». The poem reads: «Let lovers breathe their sighs/ And roses bloom and music sound/ Let passion burn on lips and eyes/ And pleasures merry world go round/ Let golden sunshine flood the sky/ And let me love/ Or let me die!». Monroe performed a sultry rendition of «Happy Birthday to You» for Kennedy on May 19, 1962, at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

According to Bill Panagopulos, founder of the Alexander Autographs auction house, the actress is believed to have given the watch to Kennedy aide Kenneth O’Donnell, who passed it on to the president. But when Kennedy saw it, he told O’Donnell to «get rid of it», according to a note that was sold with the watch.

The watch had been expected to sell for $40,000–$60,000. «It’s the hardest thing I ever had to estimate», Panagopulos said. «Historic relics, especially when there is a hint of scandal attached, defy any attempt by an auctioneer to estimate their selling price».

Published in: on October 19, 2005 at 2:52 am  Leave a Comment  

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