Letter: Representing Joe DiMaggio

Your article based on your interview of me (“DiMaggio’s lawyer criticizes Univ. Press,” Nov. 2) was excellent and right on point — “fair and balanced.” All facts were correct and you hit the nail on the head as to the issue. What the professors at Yale or wherever do not understand is that this is not a “First Amendment” issue. The estate of Joe DiMaggio and the trusts thereunder (including myself as a trustee) own all of the licensing rights to the “name, likeness and image of Joe DiMaggio in a commercial venture.”

This is a commercial venture, as the Yale University Press is taking orders for the book in advance. The literary or educational content of the writing in the book is not an issue. It is the use of Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe on the cover for the sole purpose of selling the book which is strictly a commercial venture. In any event, as previously stated, it is in extremely poor taste. You can rest assured that the contents of the book (which I have no intention of reading) are nothing more than a research project of the other 34 or 35 unauthorized biographies in which the other authors never shook hands or had a “cup of joe” with Mr. DiMaggio. Again, thank you for your fairness and accuracy in reporting, which is rare these days in the media.

Morris Engelberg

Nov. 4

The writer is baseball legend Joe DiMaggio’s former attorney and the executor of his estate.


  • The Anti-Yale

    My God. The most beautiful woman in the world is treated like property to be man-handled by the most famous baseball player in the world because he gave her a diamond ring and acquired a legal document which said “man and wife”?

    Marilyn was the last famous victim of the sexist sixties.

    The tidal wave of feminism which was gathering at that time reached her too late. But her refusal to allow Joe to slap her around because she dared to exhibit her body for artistic purposes in *The Seven Year Itch* was the desperate scream of a feminist- in-the-making.

    DiMaggio “sent roses to her crypt three times a week for the next 20 years” after her death, YDN reports?

    This weird, perhaps guilt-ridden, obsession from a sexist-wife-abuser who had somehow persuaded the drug riddled Marilyn to return to him just weeks before she died from an overdose, would justify the photo of Marilyn and a bat-weilding DiMaggio on the cover of this or any book about the latter-day Mr. Coffee.