Gal Pals Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe

By Allison Daroie

In celebration of gal pals this Valentine's Day, I'd like to bring your attention to the relationship of Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe. While researching one of the most iconic singers in history and one of the most notable singers of "My Funny Valentine," I learned that Monroe and Fitzgerald had a very close relationship. During the 50's there were many barriers for African American artists, particularly in Jim Crow States. It was very hard for these artists to get gigs in large nightclubs. Monroe was a huge fan of Fitzgerald and changed the trajectory of her life. 

According to Fitzgerald, 

“I owe Marilyn Monroe a real debt … she personally called the owner of the Mocambo, and told him she wanted me booked immediately, and if he would do it, she would take a front table every night. She told him – and it was true, due to Marilyn’s superstar status – that the press would go wild. The owner said yes, and Marilyn was there, front table, every night. The press went overboard. After that, I never had to play a small jazz club again. She was an unusual woman – a little ahead of her times. And she didn’t know it."

The things we learn about icons more known for their beauty... very few tell tales regarding Monroe's leftist views on equality and fair standards for the working class. No wonder, Arthur Miller took a liking to Monroe, despite the obvious. 


Gal pals Ella Fitzgerald  & Marilyn Monroe. Photo borrowed from