(Marilyn Monroe - June 1, 1926 - August 5, 1962)
Often, when a symbol of a place, time or generation dies, their influence over our culture takes on proportions that never did while they were alive. Marilyn Monroe has been, and continues to be, the icon for all things free, stylish and misunderstood. Her fame looms larger now than perhaps it did in the mid 1950s when she broke through barriers and perceptions of sexuality - she represented a freedom from the repression so prevalent in 1950s America. She came to symbolize all that.
But she also became a symbol for the misunderstood diva; craving the center of attention yet terrified of it. She has become the prototype and role model for hundreds of hopeful divas - the rehabs and reality TV are full of them.
So when Monroe died - and depending on whom you want to believe, whether an accidental overdose or a sinister murder plot, an icon of our Secret National desire to not conform went along with it.
If she were alive today she would be hovering around 84 and I doubt she would be held in such reverence. The trick had always been to live fast, die young and leave a great corpse.
And Marilyn Monroe achieved that, in spades.
Within hours of her death, media outlets were scrambling for tributes, reflections and statements. This particular tribute comes from NBC Radio and was broadcast the following day. From a historic point it's quite fascinating, with an early interview between Monroe and Dave Garroway. But the rather soupy music and wistful commentary by Leon Pearson, who narrates the piece, is a little annoying. But with history you have to take what you can get.