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Friday, December 15 News

Way Back When... 1962

On May 19, 1962, Marilyn Monroe performed a sultry rendition of "Happy Birthday" for U.S. President John F. Kennedy. The event was a fundraiser at New York's Madison Square Garden.

This infamous event most people are familiar with. What many may not know is Monroe’s ties to Darien.

The weekend retreat, above, of Jon Whitcomb - a well-known 1950s magazine illustrator and raconteur — was a spot where Monroe would often kick off her heels and relax for the weekend.

More Information

1962

The year Marilyn Monroe performed a sultry rendition of "Happy Birthday" for U.S. President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden.

The house, located at 8 Circle Road in Darien, has been completely remodeled and sits on 2 acres. It last sold in 2014 for $2,330,000. Included in nearly 6,000 square feet of interior living space is a private gym and a spacious master suite with a romantic woodburning fireplace.

While Whitcomb kept a three-room apartment in New York City, most of his time was spent in his Darien studio that was part of a large, rambling contemporary tucked away on 10 acres of lushly landscaped property.

His life in the country was informal and many friends would drift in and out to take advantage of the bucolic serenity of the place. Two Swedish maids staffed the residence to make sure guests were well fed and looked after when he was busy working.

When he was free he liked to lavishly entertain with cocktail and dinner parties that typically ended up with him at the piano.

Whitcomb was well known for his pictures of glamorous young women. He was born in Weatherford, Okla., and grew up in Manitowoc, Wisc. He attended Ohio Wesleyan University and graduated from Ohio State University with a major in English. He is the brother of fashion designer and inventor Merry Hull.

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