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Marilyn Monroe's 'Happy Birthday, Mr. President' Dress Sells for $4.8 Million

by Elisa Osegueda 11:00 AM PST, November 18, 2016
Photo: Getty Images

Marilyn Monroe's famous "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" dress sold for a staggering $4.8 million on Thursday.

The dress, which was presented on a custom-made mannequin designed to match Monroe’s exact body measurements, was bought by Ripley's Believe It or Not. The purchase makes this sparkly ensemble the world's most expensive dress ever sold at auction.

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Photo: Julien’s Auctions

Monroe wore the nude figure-hugging dress at President John F. Kennedy's 45th birthday celebration at Madison Square Garden on May 19, 1962. Her sultry "Happy Birthday" performance was caught on tape, and despite the poor quality footage, it has allowed for the dress and moment to live on. 

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The iconic dress, which features 2,500 hand-stitched crystals, was designed by Academy Award-winning costume designer Jean Louis and the original sketch of the dress was done by fashion designer Bob Mackie, which was his first job out of college. Ripley's plans to tour the dress at several of its 32 Odditoriums worldwide, but it will most likely first display the dress at its Marilyn Monroe gallery located in Hollywood, California.

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