Marilyn Monroe's 'Happy Birthday, Mr. President' gown expected to fetch $3 million at auction

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The dress became a piece of American history when Marilyn Monroe wore it in her unforgettable performance of "Happy Birthday, Mr. President," and more than 50 years later, it will be sold to the highest bidder.

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A collection of the late Marilyn Monroe's belongings will be placed on the auction block later this year, but the iconic dress, emblazoned with more than 2,500 crystals, is expected to be the highlight.

Officials even estimate the sheer dress will fetch no less than $3 million.

PHOTOS: Take a look back at her famous night

Marilyn Monroe's most iconic looks throughout the years
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Marilyn Monroe's most iconic looks throughout the years
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - MAY 1962: Actress Marilyn Monroe singing Happy Birthday at the Democratic rally for President John F. Kennedy's birthday. (Photo by Yale Joel/Life Magazine/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
In this May 19, 1962 publicity photo provided by Running Press, Peter Lawford, right, tends to Marilyn Monroe's fur as she prepares to sing "Happy Birthday" to President John F. Kennedy at a Madison Square Garden gala in New York. (AP Photo/Courtesy Running Press)
Marilyn Monroe's 'Happy Birthday Mr. President' Dress Is Displayed At A Christie's Auction August 13, 1999 In Beverly Hills, Ca. (Photo By Getty Images)
Marilyn Monroe poses over the updraft of New York subway grating while in character for the filming of "The Seven Year Itch" in Manhattan on September 15, 1954. The former Norma Jean Baker modeled and starred in 28 movies grossing $200 million. Sensual and seductive, but with an air of innocence, Monroe became one of the world's most adored sex symbols. She died alone by suicide, at age 36 in her Hollywood bungalow. (AP Photo/Matty Zimmerman)
Marilyn Monroe has held a variety of jobs, from making five cents a week in an Orphan home to a stock contract at a studio. She clicked as the sexy girl in "Asphalt Jungle", and the roles got better. She has been named to Miss Cheesecake of 1951 by stars and stripes, a service paper. (04/17/1951)(AP Photo)
Marilyn Monroe learns the English way to make a movie as her director and co-star, Sir Laurence Olivier gives her advice in London on Aug. 14, 1956. In "The Prince and the Showgirl", Miss Monroe plays the part of an American show girl starring in a London musical in 1911. (AP Photo)
In this June 2, 1955 file photo, actress Marilyn Monroe, right, dressed in a glamorous evening gown, arrives with Joe DiMaggio at the theater. DiMaggio's love letter to Marilyn Monroe has sold for $78,125 at a Beverly Hills auction. Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills says the letter, written by the baseball great after Monroe announced she was divorcing him, was sold Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014, to an undisclosed buyer.(AP Photo, File)
Marilyn Monroe poses in a bathing suit, left, in 1947 at age 18 at the start of her carreer and in a gown designed for her, right, in 1958 in the movie "Some Like It Hot." (AP Photo/files)
Tousled after all-night plane ride from Hollywood, actress Marilyn Monroe smiles in a car at Idlewild Airport, N.Y., June 2, -year unknown-. She said she planned to rest in New York before going to England to make a new movie with Sir Laurence Olivier. Sidestepping questions as to whether she and playwright Arthur Miller plan to wed, she said: "No comment, were really good friends". (AP Photo)
American film star Marilyn Monroe (1926 - 1962) shares a joke with Jack Benny, comedian of radio, television and occasional films. Original Publication: People Disc - HW0707 (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
Blonde actress Marilyn Monroe flashes radiant smile behind microphones of newsmen as she is questioned at #2 Sutton Place in New York City on June 21 concerning reported forthcoming marriage to playwright Arthur Miller. Marilyn confirmed report in June 20 New York newspaper story that she will wed Miller. However, the actress and the 41-year-old playwright refused to pose for pictures together at the scene of the news conference. (undated) (AP Photo)
American actress Marilyn Monroe (1926 - 1962) stands in a staircase alongside a wall with a floral-motif pattern, late 1950s. She wears a black cocktail dress and dangling earrings. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Marilyn Monroe is shown in this undated publicity photo. (AP Photo)
An undated picture shows Marilyn Monroe, smiling in car. (AP Photo)
In this January 1, 1947 file photo, starlet Marilyn Monroe plays at the beach with her dog Ruffles. (AP Photo, File)
Marilyn Monroe, David Wayne, on-set of the Film, "How to Marry a Millionaire", 1953. (Photo via Alamy)
In this March 25, 1991 file photo, Madonna performs "Sooner or Later (I Always Get My Man)" from the film "Dick Tracy" during the 63rd Annual Academy Awards show at the Shrine Auditorium, in Los Angeles. The song won an Oscar for best song. Madonna has famously appropriated Marilyn Monroe's look into her image. Monroe passed away a half-century ago this week, a murky death that remains one of Hollywood's most tantalizing mysteries. But look around: Her legend lives on, more vibrantly than ever. In a twist she surely would have appreciated, this 1950's bombshell has become a 21st-century pop culture phenom. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)
Marilyn Monroe, on-set of the Film, "There's No Business Like Show Business", 1954, TM and Copyright (c) 20th Century-Fox Film Corp. All Rights Reserved. (Photo via Alamy)
American actress Marilyn Monroe (L) with her husband baseball legend Joe DiMaggio. (Photo via AFP/Getty Images)

Marilyn Monroe with Joe di Maggio, 1953.

(Photo via Alamy)


The current owner is reportedly a private investor who purchased the gown in a 1999 auction for nearly $1.3 million.

Monroe donned the sheer dress on stage at Madison Square Garden as she serenaded President John F. Kennedy during a sultry performance in celebration of his 45th birthday.

The intimate performance soon led to speculation of an affair between Monroe and the president.

Read: Marilyn Monroe Lived in Fear of Getting Her Mother's Mental Illness

"Jean Louis created this amazing gown which gave the illusion that Marilyn was in fact wearing nothing at all, except it was bedazzled in over 2,500 crystals," said Martin Nolan, executive director of Julien's Auctions. "The crystals had to be strategically placed on the dress to make sure that there was no fashion faux pas."

Monroe died just three months after the unforgettable performance.

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PHOTOS: A look back at Marilyn Monroe

New Marilyn Monroe photos
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New Marilyn Monroe photos
GEORGE BARRIS (American, b. 1928) Orange Bikini, 1962
GEORGE BARRIS (American, b. 1928) Green Towel, 1962
BERT STERN (American, 1929-2013) Marilyn Teasing, from The Last Sitting, 1962
BERT STERN (American, 1929-2013) Marilyn Monroe, Here's to You, (from the Last Sitting), 1962
GEORGE BARRIS (American, b. 1928) Laying in the Sand, The Last Shoot, 1962
BERT STERN (American, 1929-2013) Marilyn Monroe, Nude Clutching Scarf, 1962
BERT STERN (American, 1929-2013) Marilyn Monroe, Sequined Gloves, 1962
BERT STERN (American, 1929-2013) Marilyn Monroe, Sleeping, 1962
BERT STERN (American, 1929-2013) Marilyn Monroe, Feeling Good (from the Last Sitting), 1962
GEORGE BARRIS (American, b. 1928) Marilyn Monroe, Flirting, 1962
GEORGE BARRIS (American, b. 1928) Marilyn Monroe, Kiss, 1962
GEORGE BARRIS (American, b. 1928) Marilyn Monroe, Wondering, 1962

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