Marilyn Monroe Birthday–and Her Charity Work


Katharine McPhee or Megan Hilty, whoever plays Marilyn Monroe in the show-within-the-show on Smash, the delving into her larger-than-life persona probably won’t go into Norma Jeane’s charitable work…but for a superstar of her era, she set a mighty fine example. Today is Marilyn’s birthday, so I thought I’d try to find some of the ways she reached out to make the world a better place.

In 1953 she performed with Jane Russell in a fundraising benefit at the Hollywood Bowl for underprivileged children at St. Jude’s hospital.

While still traveling on her honeymoon with Joe DiMaggio, she did three gigs for US service members serving in Korea.

Worked with WAIF (World Adoption International Fund–founded by Jane Russell in 1955), an organization that facilitated more than 50,000 abandoned children being adopted.

In 1955 she rode a pink elephant at a benefit gala for Mike Todd’s Celebrity Circus at Madison Square Garden for the Arthritis and Rheumatism Foundation.

Marilyn gave her earnings from the world premiere of The Prince and The Showgirl to The Milk Fund For Babies.

1958 March of Dimes Fashion Parade to aid children with polio.

Donated to a children’s welfare organization that provided free breakfasts to underprivileged children.

This one is well known: Marilyn visited an orphanage in Mexico and wrote a check for $1000 while the press was there–and after they left she tore it up and wrote a new one for $10,000.

Was a member and lent her name and efforts to SANE, an organization dedicated to eliminating nuclear weapons.

Her last public appearance was at Dodger Stadium for a benefit for muscular dystrophy.

11 responses to this post.

  1. Congrats Monroe Im a funs of yours.

    family care car donation


  2. Posted by jeanette on December 22, 2014 at 5:23 PM

    I tremendously enjoyed this article because it’s a side of Monroe we rarely see . . . unfortunately.


  3. […] during WWII, performing for the troops during the Korean war, donating both her time and money to various charities throughout her career, etc), was open and honest about her life, her difficult childhood and her […]


  4. […] If charity is any indication of warmth, Monroe believed in giving back. One of the more notable acts credited to her is her three performances for US service members serving in Korea, while she was on her honeymoon.  […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: