Joe DiMaggio

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Joe DiMaggio : biography

November 25, 1914 – March 8, 1999

In 1934, his career almost ended. Going to his sister’s house for dinner, he tore ligaments in his left knee while stepping out of a jitney.

The Seals had hoped to sell DiMaggio’s contract for $100,000. Scout Bill Essick of the New York Yankees was convinced that DiMaggio could overcome his knee injury and pestered the club to give DiMaggio another look. After DiMaggio passed a test on his knee, he was bought on November 21 in exchange for $25,000 and five players, with the Seals keeping him for the 1935 season. He batted .398 with 154 runs batted in (RBIs) and 34 home runs, led the Seals to the 1935 PCL title, and was named the League’s Most Valuable Player.

Married life

Dorothy Arnold

In January 1937, DiMaggio met actress Dorothy Arnold on the set of Manhattan Merry-Go-Round, in which he had a minor role and she was an extra. They married at San Francisco’s St. Peter and Paul Church on November 19, 1939, as 20,000 well-wishers jammed the streets. Their son, Joseph Paul DiMaggio III, was born at Doctors Hospital on October 23, 1941. San Francisco Examiner March 9, 1999. Retrieved August 4, 2009 The couple divorced in 1944.

Marilyn Monroe

According to her autobiography, Marilyn Monroe originally did not want to meet DiMaggio, fearing that he was a stereotypical arrogant athlete. They eloped at San Francisco City Hall on January 14, 1954.

DiMaggio biographer Richard Ben Cramer asserts that their marriage was filled with "violence". One typical forceful incident occurred immediately after the skirt-blowing scene in The Seven Year Itch which was filmed on September 14, 1954, in front of Manhattan’s Trans-Lux 52nd Street Theater. Then-20th Century Fox’s East Coast correspondent Bill Kobrin told the Palm Springs Desert Sun that it was Billy Wilder’s idea to turn the shoot into a media circus. The couple then had a "yelling battle" in the theater lobby. A month later, she filed for divorce on grounds of mental cruelty 274 days after the wedding.

On August 1, 1956, an International News wire photo of DiMaggio with Lee Meriwether speculated that the couple was engaged, but Cramer wrote that it was a rumor started by Walter Winchell. Monroe biographer Donald Spoto wrote that DiMaggio was "very close to marrying" 1957 Miss America Marian McKnight, who won the crown with a Marilyn Monroe act, but McKnight denied it. May 20, 2005 (has been removed from site). He was also linked to Liz Renay, Cleo Moore, Rita Gam, Marlene Dietrich, and Gloria DeHaven during this period, and to Elizabeth Ray and Morgan Fairchild years later, but he never publicly confirmed any involvement with any woman.

DiMaggio re-entered Monroe’s life as her marriage to Arthur Miller was ending. On February 10, 1961, he secured her release from Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic. She joined him in Florida where he was a batting coach for the Yankees. Their "just friends" claim did not stop remarriage rumors from flying. Reporters staked out her apartment building. Bob Hope "dedicated" Best Song nominee "The Second Time Around" to them at the 33rd Academy Awards.

According to Maury Allen, DiMaggio was alarmed at how Monroe had fallen in with people he felt detrimental to her well-being. He quit his job with a military post-exchange supplier on August 1, 1962, then asked her to remarry him. She was found dead on August 5. DiMaggio’s son, Joe Jr., had spoken to Monroe on the phone the night of her death and claimed that she seemed fine.Huber, Robert. 1999. "Joe DiMaggio Would Appreciate It Very Much If You’d Leave Him the Hell Alone." Esquire 131, no. 6: 82. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost. Her death was deemed a probable suicide, but has been the subject of numerous conspiracy theories. Devastated, DiMaggio Sr. claimed her body and arranged her funeral, barring Hollywood’s elite. He had a half-dozen red roses delivered three times a week to her crypt for 20 years. He refused to talk about her publicly or otherwise exploit their relationship. He never married again.