Marilyn Monroe’s Famous “Happy Birthday Mr President” Dress Sold For $4.8m

The iconic gown is the most expensive dress ever sold at auction.

Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe The Hollywood stunner famously sang "Happy Birthday" to JFK Image Getty Images

Marilyn Monroe’s famous “Happy Birthday Mr President” dress has sold at auction for a staggering $4.8m.

The gown, which she wore to serenade John F Kennedy in 1962, is now the most expensive dress ever sold at auction.

The crystal-encrusted gown surpassed its pre-sale estimate of $3 million (£2.42million) when it was bought by Museum chain Ripley’s Believe It Or Not at auction in Los Angeles.  

The record had previously been set by the white dress worn by Monroe in The Seven Year Itch, which sold for $4.6m in 2011.

Marilyn Monroe's iconic dress
Marilyn Monroe's iconic dress Image Getty Images

The Jean Louis gown contains 2,500 hand-stitched crystals, and was so tight that it had to be sewn together while Monroe was wearing it.

The actress wore the dress when sang for the president in front of 15,000 guests at a Democratic fundraiser at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not president Edward Meyer said the dress was “the most iconic piece of pop culture that there is”.

“In the 20th century I cannot think of one single item that tells the story of the 1960s as well as this dress. It’s a new world record for a dress.”

Watch the moment Marilyn Monroe sang for JFK below:

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Loaded staff writer Harry Fletcher has covered news, sport and entertainment for several major websites across the UK. Follow him on Twitter at @Harry__Fletcher.