Alleged Monroe Gift to JFK Sells For $120,000

A gold Rolex watch reported to be a gift from actress Marilyn Monroe to U.S. President John F. Kennedy was auctioned for $120,000 in October, said Reuters. Alexander Autographs, the Connecticut auction house, said an American collector outbid a European for the watch, which was inscribed “JACK / With love as always / from / MARILYN / May 29th 1962.” (The date is about the same time Monroe famously sang “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” to Kennedy at his 1962 Madison Square Garden party in New York.) The watch was sold with a poem titled, “A heartfelt plea on your birthday,” typed in black on a paper disk placed at the bottom of the gold case containing the watch.

The auction house said documentation indicated the watch was handed down through the family of Kennedy presidential aide Kenneth O’Donnell. A letter auctioned with the watch, titled “The Unwanted Gift,” said Kennedy gave it to O’Donnell with instructions to get rid of it, Reuters reported.