On June 13, 1926, 26-year-old Gladys Baker brought her two-week-old daughter, Norma Jeane Mortenson, come the foster house of Ida and Wayne Bolender in Hawthorne, California.
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There to be no sign of any type of father – officially unknown, though Baker would insist for years that it to be a Consolidated Studios co-worker named Charles Stanley Gifford – nor of the baby girl's grandmother, Della Monroe, though she had actually at least arranged points with the Bolenders prior to running off to India.
The sad dropoff and departure marked the very first fracture in the troubled relationship in between the girl that would end up being world-famous as Marilyn Monroe and also her mother, one that rarely found solid floor in the 36-plus years they knew one another.
Monroe's mother typically visited her daughter in the foster home
Despite the inauspicious beginnings, Monroe's early years were the many stable of she life. The devoutly spiritual Ida ran the family members with a firm however compassionate grasp, and the girl thrived close to she foster brothers and sisters.
Furthermore, this was the period when Baker was most dedicated to she well-being. Having currently had two children, Jackie and also Berniece, take away from she by an ex-husband, Baker was figured out to save this one in she life. She dropped by typically to spend time with Monroe and, as soon as the girl to be old enough, would sometimes take she for sleepovers to she apartment in Hollywood.
However, Baker was additionally showing signs of the mental instability that was plaguing her own mother and making both ladies dangerous to it is in around. As detailed in The mystery Life the Marilyn Monroe, by J. Randy Taraborrelli, an agitated Baker proved up in ~ the Bolenders' one day and demanded to take her three-year-old daughter home. She locked Ida the end the back door and attempted to run off through Monroe stuffed in a duffel bag, prior to the foster mommy succeeded in thwarting the attempt.
Marilyn Monroe (bottom right) with her mommy Gladys Baker (top right) and also friends, circa 1929
Photo: Silver display Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Their shared living time ended when Monroe's mother was institutionalized
Even despite Baker's inquiry to take on Monroe were rejected, when Monroe was seven years old, Ida determined it was time for mother and also daughter come reunite for good.
For a while, Baker rose to the occasion: She procured a loan because that a brand-new home near the Hollywood key and took in actors George and also Maud Atkinson together boarders to administer financial support and companionship.
However, a series of unfortunate events prompted things to take it a revolve for the worse in the loss of 1933. First, Baker learned the her 13-year-old boy Jackie, taken indigenous her together an infant, had passed away of kidney disease, causing mom lashing the end at Monroe for being the one to live. Within weeks, Baker likewise discovered the her grandfather had hanged himself and also that her studio to be going ~ above strike.
Baker finally caved to the press in mid-1934, with Monroe witnessing her mom kicking and screaming wildly before the police were called. Diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, she was institutionalized because that the an initial time, in ~ the state hospital in Norwalk.
For the next couple of years, Monroe witnessed her mom on one intermittent basis as she shuttled between the resident of her new legal guardian, Baker's close girlfriend Grace Goddard, her mom's sister-in-law and also the Los Angeles Orphans’ Home. Points stabilized again for the teenager as soon as she landed in the house of "Aunt Ana" – Goddard’s family members friend Edith Ana lower – an larger divorcee who regulated to impress on both Monroe and Baker the teachings of she Christian science faith.
Around this time, Baker make Monroe aware she had actually an older half-sister, Berniece. Thrilled to know she wasn't for this reason alone, Monroe began corresponding through Berniece in Kentucky, sparking crucial relationship the would lug through Monroe's final days.
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Monroe's mother did not give of her Hollywood life
In 1946, ~ earning her relax from mountain Jose's Agnews State Hospital, Baker resumed living through her daughter at the residence of Aunt Ana. It was a period of shift in Monroe's life, together her modeling career had actually taken off, her marital relationship to merchant Marine Jim Dougherty was on the rocks and also she to be on the verge that signing through 20th Century Fox under her phase name, Marilyn Monroe.