Marilyn Monroe's orphanage closes doors

Dec. 20, 2005 at 4:22 PM

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- The Los Angeles orphanage where Marilyn Monroe spent several years as a child has closed.

Hollygrove's last resident, a 9-year-old boy who went to live with his father in Texas, moved out Sept. 2, The Los Angeles Times reports.

The orphanage was founded in 1880 as the Los Angeles Orphans Home Society by two women who traveled the city in a buggy picking up waifs. In its early days, most residents were orphans, while more recently they have been children who were victims of family abuse or had parents unable to care for them.

Monroe, whose mother was mentally ill, was taken to Hollygrove by an aunt in 1935 when she was 9. She visited the home three times after she had become its most famous former resident, signing in the first time as Norma Jean Baker -- her original name -- and the other times as Marilyn Monroe.

Hollygrove, like other orphanages, has fallen victim to the belief that children are better off with relatives or in foster homes. The home has merged with a company that provides children's services and plans to offer camp programs for foster children and other needy youngsters.

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