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From a hard childhood lived largely in foster homes, she ascended to the highest of Hollywood heights- a screen icon beyond compare. And then she died young under mysterious circumstances, tragically cementing her legend. The life story of Norma Jeane Baker, the girl who would become Marilyn Monroe, is as thrilling, glamorous and dramatic as anything seen on the big screen, and the camera was there to capture every chapter. With intimate, rarely seen photographs of a pretty little child growing up in California during the 1930s right through to the classic imagery of the movie star in the 1950s and ''60s made by LIFE''s legendary team of photographers, this book is a warm portrait of a woman who was majestic and vulnerable in equal measure. These pages prove beyond any doubt: There has never been another like Marilyn, and there never will be.