Place of Meeting: School
Year Relationship began: 1942
Type of Relationship: Marriage
“If I hadn't gone into the Merchant Marines during World War II, she would still be Mrs Dougherty today” - Jim Dougherty on Marilyn Monroe People Magazine 1976.
Jim Dougherty met the then Norma Jeane at Van Nuys High School - at the time he was student body president, a football star and a member of the Maskers Drama club. He also owned a car - a blue Ford coupe, in which he used to drive his neighbours Beebe Goddard and Norma Jeane to and from school.
In December 1941 Jim took Norma to a company Christmas dance, by March 1942 they were going steady, and by May they were engaged. She was just 16 years old at the time, and it has been speculated that she agreed to the marriage to avoid going back to an orphanage.
They had a happy relationship, but when Jim decided to join the Merchant Marines things started to go wrong. Norma Jeane began to model and began gaining introduction to all sorts of Hollywood types who were very different from the circle she was used to meeting as Mrs Dougherty. It was an exciting world, enticing her away from her domestic life. By September 13, 1946, they were divorced.