Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jeane Mortensen on June 1, 1926, in Los Angeles, California. She had a troubled childhood, spending time in the Los Angeles orphanage and a long succession of foster homes.
Today, July 19th, is the anniversary of her 1946 screen test with 20th Century Fox. She subsequently signed her first studio contract and changed her name to Marilyn Monroe. The rest, as they say, is history.
When she died in mysterious circumstances in 1962, the world was stunned, and speculation about it still persists to this day. Read about it here.