Marilyn Monroe's political flavour was decidedly left wing. Having grown up in poverty during the Great Depression, Marilyn always identified with the working class, feeling they were her kind of people. She was passionate about civil rights and a staunch defender of black equality. But while her views had always been left wing, Marilyn's political awareness only fully blossomed after she married playwright Arthur Miller in 1956. (Miller was a leftist too and particularly during their marriage, which ended in 1961, Marilyn often mixed with people who talked politics a lot.)1960 was an election year, the year when John F. Kennedy was elected president of the USA. That same year, Marilyn became one of the founding members of the Hollywood branch of the Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy, and she was also appointed alternate delegate to Connecticut's state Democratic convention. Marilyn was clearly into politics that year, often engaging in political discussions with Lester Markel, a friend of hers and Sunday editor of The New York Times.
|Marilyn with Lester Markel (middle) during a visit to The New York Times in 1959.|
Source: Julien's Live
March 29, 1960
Here I am still in bed. I've been lying here thinking-- even of you. I bet you don't know how fond I am of you- you're one of those ones that one could say anything one meant or wanted to to.
I loved the way the Sunday piece on [Irish playwright] O'Casey was handled and I think it was wonderful of you to tell people about his very human quality. We need to know about the few like him.
About our political conversation the other day: I take it back that there isn't anybody. What about Rockefeller? First of all he is a Republican like the New York Times, and secondly, and most interesting, he's more liberal than many of the Democrats. Maybe he could be developed? At this time, however, Humphrey might be the only one. But who knows since it's rather hard to find anything about him. (I have no particular paper in mind!) Of course, Stevenson might have made it, if he had been able to talk to people instead of professors. Of course, there hasn't been anyone like Nixon before because the rest of them at least had souls! Ideally, Justice William Douglas would be the best President, but he has been divorced so he couldn't make it -- but I've got an idea -- how about Douglas for President and Kennedy for Vice-President, then the Catholics who wouldn't have voted for Douglas would vote because of Kennedy so it wouldn't matter if he is so divorced! Then Stevenson could be Secretary of State!
Now, Lester, on Castro. You see, Lester, I was brought up to believe in democracy, and when the Cubans finally threw out Battista [sic] with so much bloodshed, the United States doesn't stand behind them and give them help or support even to develop democracy. I can understand a "John Daly" on an American national broadcast making fun of Castro for having appeared at one of his country's national functions in a tuxedo. (I use the above as an example.) But the New York Times' responsibility to keep its readers informed - means in an unbiased way. I don't know, somehow I have always counted on The Times, and not entirely because you're there.
How are you, Lester? Did your amarillys bloom this year? Mine didn't - it's a little like me. But maybe there's still hope. How late do they bloom?
I hope Mrs. Markel is well. I take for granted she is happy since she sits at the foot of your table.
I am enclosing an unfinished letter to you that I didn't tear up. (Started in California).
About Arthur [Miller] and your Sunday piece. What do you want me to do- persuade him? Undue influence on my part wouldn't be quite hocky [sic] would it?
It's true I am in your building quite frequently mostly to see my wonderful doctor as your spies have already reported. I didn't want you to get a glimpse of me though until I was wearing my Somali leopard. I want you to think of me as a predatory animal.
Love and kisses,
P.S. Sloans for late '60:
"Nix on Nixon"
"Over the hump with Humphrey (?)"
"Stymied with Symington"