John Steinbeck's mysterious autograph request to Marilyn Monroe
John Steinbeck's autograph request to Marilyn Monroe is a fascinating chapter in the history of American literature and film. It is an example of how two of the greatest personalities of their time came into contact with each other in an unexpected way.

John Steinbeck, the famous writer and Pulitzer Prize winner, had published his book "East of Eden" in 1953. The book was a great success and quickly became a bestseller. Steinbeck was already a well-known writer at that time and had many famous friends, including some Hollywood stars.

One day Steinbeck learned that Marilyn Monroe, who was already one of the most famous actresses in Hollywood at the time, was a big fan of "East of Eden." She had read the book and was so enthusiastic about it. It is even believed that Marilyn asked for a signed "East of Eden" book. Steinbeck was apparently surprised and flattered by Marilyn's interest in his book. He decided to send her a personal copy, which he would sign for her.

East of Eden Premiere March 1953

"When it was announced that Marilyn would be an usher at the world premiere of the James Dean film, police horses had to be posted on both sides of the hotel entrance that night, holding back hundreds of Monroe admirers. There was also a long line of people snaking around Park Avenue, fans waiting with cameras and autograph books."

(From the book "Marilyn: The Ultimate Look at the Legend" by James Haspiel)

Currently circulating on social media is a supposed letter from John Steinbeck asking his teenage nephew-in-law to send him a personal autographed photo dated April 28, 1955

Unfortunately, it is not known whether this autograph request was fulfilled.

Steinbeck's typed letter is dated April 28, 1955.... (1 month after attending the premiere of M.M at the premiere) In it, Steinbeck tells Monroe about Jon Atkinson, the son of his wife's sister in Austin, Texas. When the letter was written, Atkinson was a 17-year-old high school student at Stephen F. Austin High School.

The letter was one of many that Monroe kept throughout her life. When Monroe died in 1962, she left most of her estate, including the Steinbeck letter, to her acting coach, Lee Strasberg. When Strasberg died in 1982, his wife Anna took control of Monroe's estate.

Strasberg put the Steinbeck letter up for auction in November 2016. This was likely the first time this letter appeared in public and it sold for $3,520 at Julien's Auctions.

In researching whether Marilyn Monroe autographed the letter, the question was asked if John Steinbeck wrote it or if it was a forgery.

"That was a good question because it's definitely not his signature. It even has the typist's little initials, 'mf' under the signature," Joan Atkinson said. This is where the mystery deepens.

Joan Atkinson points out that Steinbeck wrote his letters almost exclusively in longhand in pencil. "I could not imagine John Steinbeck having such a letter signed by a typist or secretary in the office. As personal as this subject was, it seems strange," she said.

We can also confirm that the signature on this letter differs greatly from reference examples aud the mid-1950s by John Steinbeck.

Enlarged signature

Significant differences

- Initial adjustment

- Jo" connection

- Garlands

- "St" connected

- T stroke regular ....










I personally do not assume from the signature on the letter that the autograph request was written by John Steinbeck personally, but a secretary and resourceful autograph collector or fan hoped for the chance to get a signed photo... Especially after the huge demand for autographs of Marilyn Monroe after the premiere became so well known in the media

What is your opinion ?


AutographJohn steinbeckMarilyn monroe