Why Was Marilyn Monroe Sent To An Orphanage: Expert Tell You

Marilyn Monroe's early years were marked by a harrowing decision that led her to an orphanage. This experience had a significant impact on her life.

The Early Years: Marilyn Monroe’s Childhood

Marilyn Monroe, born Norma Jeane, was given up for adoption by her mother Gladys Baker who suffered from mental illness.This instability led her to place the young Marilyn in an orphanage. Baker struggled with schizophrenia and other mental disorders for most of her adult life, which proved intolerable for raising a child at that time.
More comprehensive information and care guidelines can be read here.

marylin monroe, orphan, toddler standing near blocked door
Photo by frank mckenna / Unsplash

A Harrowing Decision: The Journey to the Orphanage

Gladys struggled as a single mother and made the heartbreaking choice to relinquish Marilyn to foster care at the age of 7 weeks. Her struggles were largely due to her own mental health issues which made it difficult for her to properly care for an infant.

Marilyn’s early childhood was tumultuous, as she bounced through several foster homes before finally entering the Los Angeles Orphans Home Society at age 7. During this time:

  • She lived with at least 2 different foster families for brief periods.

  • She often went without proper care, love and supervision as Gladys’ condition worsened.

  • Marilyn struggled with feelings of abandonment and longing for her mother, who remained largely absent from her life.

The orphanage provided more stability but lacked warmth and affection that all young children need. Marilyn remained there for 9 formative years, during which time she:

  • Had to follow rigid rules and a very strict schedule.

  • Received few comforts or extras beyond basic necessities.

  • Developed a drive for success and fame as a way to finally gain the love and recognition she so desperately craved.

The multiple disruptions in Marilyn’s early years shaped who she became as an adult, ultimately fueling both her insecurities and ambitions in profound ways.

marylin monroe, orphan, boy in red white and blue striped long sleeve shirt sitting on floor
Photo by hossein azarbad / Unsplash

Life Behind Closed Doors: Marilyn’s Orphanage Experience

Marilyn lived at the Los Angeles Orphans Home Society for the formative years between ages 7 to 16. Life in the orphanage was largely joyless and characterized by strict routine, discipline and few comforts for the children. Some key aspects:

  • Schedule: Residents had to follow a rigid daily schedule with set times for waking up, meals, chores and study. They had little free time or flexibility.

  • Chores: The children, including young Marilyn , were assigned daily chores to help maintain the orphanage. This included tasks like cleaning, doing laundry and gardening.

  • Education: Marilyn attended a local public school but had to spend much of her non-school time doing chores or study hall under the watchful eyes of staff.

  • Comforts: Very few extras were provided beyond basic necessities. The orphans had little in the way of toys, activities or treats.

  • Affection: Very little warmth, caring or affection was shown to the children. Staff were taskmasters focused more on discipline than developing bonds.

While orphanages of that era aimed to provide structure and stability, they often fell short of meeting children’s emotional needs. For Marilyn, the stern environment:

  • Likely intensified her feelings of abandonment and lack of self-worth.

  • Left her craving love, attention and positive reinforcement she did not receive there.

  • Shaped her vision of success and fame as a means of gaining the recognition, praise and affection that were denied to her as a child.

The strict orphanage life undoubtedly left deep scars, but also helped forge Marilyn’s steely resolve and ambition that would aid her meteoric rise to fame later in life.

marylin monroe, orphanage, gray elephants on brown sand
Photo by Alex Mercado / Unsplash

The Impact of Marilyn’s Orphanage Stay on Her Life

The long years in the orphanage from ages 7 to 16 left deep emotional scars on Marilyn. As an adult, she struggled with:

  • Abandonment issues: Stemming from being given up by her mother at a young age then shuffled through multiple foster homes before the orphanage.

  • Trust issues: Due to the lack of stable, loving relationships in her childhood and the emotionally distant environment of the orphanage.

  • Intimacy difficulties: Marilyn had trouble forming close bonds and relationships, seeking validation mainly through her beauty and fame.

However, the hardships of her orphanage stay also fueled Marilyn’s resolute ambition and drive for success. Having been denied affection and praise as a child, she sought them through:

  • Her sheer determination to make it in Hollywood despite humble beginnings and little formal education.

  • The persona she crafted of a naive but sweet and beautiful “blonde bombshell” that captured the world’s imagination.

  • Her meteoric rise to fame, which finally brought her the attention, acclaim and sense of belonging she had been starved of in childhood.

In many ways, Marilyn’s orphanage experience- though tragic and lacking in love- helped forge the resolute ambition that shaped her legendary rise from anonymity to global icon. But the emotional wounds remained, leaving her forever insecure and longing for the unconditional love and acceptance she never received as a child.

As Marilyn herself is quoted as saying:
“Success is a wonderful thing, but only if it doesn’t change you into a different person altogether.”

The dual impacts of her orphanage years – fueling both her ambition and emotional scars – came to define the paradox that was Marilyn Monroe.

marylin monroe, orphan, person in purple hoodie standing near white top mount refrigerator
Photo by Sigmund / Unsplash

More Helpful Guide

Frequently Asked Question

What movies was Marilyn Monroe famous for?

Marilyn Monroe was famous for movies like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How to Marry a Millionaire, The Seven Year Itch, and Some Like It Hot.

How did Marilyn Monroe die?

Marilyn Monroe died from a drug overdose.

Who was Marilyn Monroe’s third husband?

Marilyn Monroe’s third husband was Arthur Miller.

What was Marilyn Monroe’s real name?

Marilyn Monroe’s real name was Norma Jeane Mortenson.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top