On New Year’s Eve 1953, Joe DiMaggio asked Marilyn Monroe to marry him and on January 14, 1954, they were married in a quick civil ceremony in San Francisco. DiMaggio’s friend Reno Barsocchini made the arrangements for a wedding at San Francisco City Hall. Barsocchini and DiMaggio’s old Seals manager Lefty O’Doul and his wife were the only others, besides the couple and the judge, in attendance.
In his book, “Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio?” writer Maury Allen reports that Marilyn said to Joe on their first date, “I’m sorry I don’t know anything about baseball.” DiMaggio replied, “That’s all right. I don’t know much about movies.“
“I expected a flashy New York sports type, and instead I met this reserved guy who didn’t make a pass at me right away. He treated me like something special” – Marilyn about her first date with Joe
A few weeks after their wedding, the couple were in Asia. Joe was coaching in Japan and Marilyn went to entertain the troops in Korea.
“Joe, you never heard such cheering,” the blonde beauty reportedly told her husband of her visit to see the American G.I’s.
“Yes,” he replied glumly. “I have”
They were divorced nine months later and LIFE magazine told its readers in October 1954:
Even for Hollywood, where unhappy endings for the real love stories come with almost unseemly haste, this ending seemed abrupt. It was only last January that the press was mobbing the San Francisco city hall, waiting for Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe to emerge as newlywed man and wife. Now the press was gathered again in front of the DiMaggio home in Beverly Hills, waiting for Joe and Marilyn to come out as newly-separated man and wife.
Nobody had been surprised when they got married — they had been going with each other for two years. Nobody doubted their love — they had smiled happily through their married life. And almost nobody professed surprised when they broke up — the conflict in their two careers seemed inevitable.