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On September 2, 1952, Marilyn Monroe took part in her one and only Miss America beauty pageant, as "Grand Marshall," the first woman to fulfill this honorary role. The event was held at the Atlantic City Convention Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Marilyn's presence was arranged as part of the Twentieth Century-Fox publicity drive for the launch of her latest film "Monkey Business."

Monroe in her last photo session, for LIFE magazine, a month before she died. She cared little for things and owned no jewelry. “I’m not interested in money,” Monroe once told an agent. “I just want to be wonderful.”

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Marilyn Monroe