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Marilyn Monroe's Happy Birthday JFK dress sells for record-breaking $4.8 million

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! bought the iconic piece at auction

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FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images; Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

Believe it or not, one of Marilyn Monroe’s most iconic looks was just sold at action for a record-breaking $4.8 million.

The dress Marilyn Monroe wore while singing “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” to John F. Kennedy was acquired at auction by Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Julien’s Auction hosted the bidding event Friday in Los Angeles, which featured the floor-length, crystal-embossed dress the actress wore at President Kennedy’s 45th birthday celebration on May 19, 1962.

The high price tag makes Monroe’s garment the world’s most expensive dress ever sold at auction. “This is the most famous item of clothing in twentieth century culture,” said Edward Meyer, Ripley’s VP of Exhibits and Archives, in a release. “It has the significance of Marilyn, of Hollywood, of JFK, of American politics. Any museum in the world would love to have it on display, and now it belongs to Ripley’s Believe It or Not!”

The dress was the centerpiece of the three-day auction, which included additional memorabilia from the life and career of the Some Like It Hot actress.

History buffs and Monroe adorers can get a glimpse of dress, based on an original sketch by Bob Mackie, during its first run at the Ripley’s Hollywood Odditorium. The entertainment company also plans to tour the dress to some of its other 33 Odditoriums worldwide.

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