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James Dougherty: Who Was Marilyn Monroe’s First Husband?

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James Dougherty went to Van Nuys High School and graduated in 1938, and Jane Russell was also a part of it. He used to be a football captain and class president at the school. James decided to refuse an athletic scholarship from the University of California at Santa Barbara after graduation and work at Lockheed Aircraft instead. He met Norma Jean Baker, also known as Marilyn Monroe.

Later on, James is assigned an overseas assignment, and Marilyn returns to Van Nuys, where she meets a photographer who clicks some of her pictures. Marilyn quickly emerged as a sought-after model and wanted to contract with 20th Century Fox. However, to do so, she must divorce her husband. Marilyn was determined to be a star, so she opted for a divorce, and the marriage ended in September 1946.

James went on to marry again and have three daughters, but the marriage ultimately ended in 1972. In 1949, he enlisted with the LAPD, worked as a detective and trained the department’s first Special Weapons and Tactics Group. After retiring from the LAPD in 1974, he shifted to Maine with his third wife.

He later wrote and published two books about his relationship with Marilyn: The Secret Happiness of Marilyn Monroe and To Norma Jeane With Love, Jimmie.

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