1. As a child, Norma Jean Baker, later as Marilyn Monroe, lived in an orphanage and had 11 sets of foster parents, after her mother Gladys was institutionalized.
2. She almost chose the screen name of Jean Adair before settling on Marilyn Monroe.
3. Her agent Johnny Hyde reportedly convinced her to have two plastic surgeries: reshaping the cartilage at the tip of her nose and a chin implant, but there's nothing that's been proven that it's true.
4. Although she was typecast as a "dumb blonde" (she hated playing a dumb blonde) she was actually extremely intelligent.
She had an IQ of 168.
5. Although she famously sang “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” in reality Monroe wasn’t into expensive jewelry.
All the jewelry she owned was costume, expect for a diamond ring and a strand of pearls given to her by her second husband, Joe DiMaggio.
6. She was one of the first women to own her own production company, Marilyn Monroe Productions.
The company released only one movie though, The Prince and the Showgirl (1957).
7. Monroe helped change the course of Ella Fitzgerald's career by personally calling the owner of the popular Hollywood nightclub, Mocambo, and helping her get booked.
Initially the club would not book Ella because she was black.
8. Monroe converted to Judaism for a while after marrying playwright Arthur Miller.
9. Miller wrote Monroe's role in The Misfits as a Valentine's Day gift to her.
Although she hated the role, many critics consider it the best performance of her career.
10. The racy flesh-colored dress Monroe wore while singing the infamous “Happy Birthday Mr. President,” was covered with 2,500 rhinestones and was so tight that she had to be sewn into it.
11. At the height of her fame, Monroe wrote her autobiography My Story (with help from her friend screenwriter Ben Hecht).
The book was not published until a decade after her death.