Marilyn Monroe's "Happy Birthday Mr. President" Dress Sells for $4.8M at Auction
The screen siren serenaded President John F. Kennedy in the famed dress at a fundraiser held at Madison Square Garden in 1962.
The "Happy Birthday Mr. President" dress, perhaps the most iconic piece of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia of all, has been sold at auction for $4.8 million.
The dress was sold at Julien's Auctions in Los Angeles on Thursday with the winning bid coming from Ripley's Believe it or Not.
Monroe wore the provocative figure-hugging, sheer dress when she serenaded President John F. Kennedy at a Democratic fundraiser held at Madison Square Garden on May 19, 1962, ten days before Kennedy's 45th birthday.
The flesh-colored dress features 2,500 hand-stitched crystals and was designed and made by Academy Award-winning costume designer Jean Louis. Legend has it, the dress was so tight that Louis had to sew it while Monroe was wearing it.
Monroe's performance was captured on camera, and despite the grainy quality and black and white color of the video the sultry magnetism is still evident today and it's easy to see how the dress and the moment went down in history.
The Jean Louis dress was part of a larger three-day sale of Monroe memorabilia at Julien's. Other highlights from the first day of the auction included the Some Like it Hot cocktail dress which sold for $450,000, the Rose Tattoo premiere gown sold for $125,000 and a negligee from Niagara that sold for $59,000.