The Most Shocking Truth About JFK & Marilyn Monroe?

Only part of the picture.


President Kennedy in the Oval Office shortly after his Inauguration.

Context is everything.

Documentation, even better.

It may be devastating to the American people to suggest that a romanticized story they have long cherished and held dear about a beloved President might be, in fact, utterly false or at least exaggerated to the point where it has become mythologized.

This might prove so damaging to the national psyche that many political and entertainment editors and producers might mount a systematic propaganda campaign to protect the former President’s now-popularized reputation, so long held sacred by those who idolize him.

The President at his May 1962 birthday fundraiser.

Yet, on this 50th anniversary of their most famous and public of meetings, it is time to face a certain truth.

President John F. Kennedy almost certainly did not have had a love affair with the actress Marilyn Monroe.

An imagined scene of Monroe and Kennedy with lookalike models by artist and photographer Alison Jackson.

There are dozens of books and websites devoted to Monroe with all sorts of quotes of people from every walk of life offering eyewitness accounts with impeccable memory for every imaginable detail. One can go to all those sources and search to one’s heart’s content.

A faked image seeking to mythologize the President and Actress as closer than they may have been.

There are badly doctored fake pictures showing them together as well as artistic renderings of their purported meetings.

The story was expanded to include the Attorney-General and the Mafia and phone calls to First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and dark claims of blackmail and murder. There are essays, plays and, last year, insanely ridiculous scenes in The Kennedys mini-series which the public takes as proof, failing to remember drama’s first priority is drama.

Even were documentation to emerge which proved the Kennedy-Monroe story to be entirely untrue, the idea has so permanently lodged in the public imagination, it would likely lead to a dozen new forensic conspiracy theory websites alleging a Kennedy family cover-up. There are those who’ve studied all the claims and stories closely and can speak precisely to all this. This author cannot do so with any such level of detail – or interest.


No Tub-Stucker Taft.

The persistent presidential myth, however, is not an uncommon phenomena. Whatever embarrassing or far-too-humanizing anecdote which may have begun with a kernel of truth or as merely a sharp assessment of a situation by an imaginative observer will – if it captures the public’s imagination – eventually solidify as “fact.”

The story of President William Howard Taft becoming stuck in a White House bathtub is untrue. 

The story about President Dwight Eisenhower having a wartime affair with Kay Summersby may be true.

What is indisputably established, however, is that people want to believe it and to give the people what they want documentaries, mini-series, books, and articles will always appear, often with some newly-crafted tidbit to further stir the public desire.

Sometimes evidence does pop up decades later.

Nan Britton and her daughter, who she claimed was fathered by President Warren G. Harding.

Nan Britton and her daughter, who she claimed was fathered by President Warren G. Harding.

Some of the many stories about Warren G. Harding’s alleged affairs and others of President Kennedy seem likely to be true, based on substantive yet circumstantial evidence. The large correspondence between Continue reading →

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Categories: Dwight D. Eisenhower, Hollywood, Presidential Mythology, Presidents, The Kennedys, Warren G. Harding, William Howard Taft

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