Marilyn Monroe gave a young, unknown photographer, called Lawrence Schiller, his big break – in the midst of her final struggle. Years went by, the boy grew up. And is now telling the intimate story of a legend before her fall. And that of the boy, on his way up. With words and countless of never before seen shots.

“You’re already famous, now you’re going to make me famous,” young photographer Lawrence Schiller said to Marilyn Monroe, as they discussed the photos he was about to shoot of her. “Don’t be so cocky,” Marilyn replied, “photographers can be easily replaced”.

The year was 1962, and Schiller, 25, was on assignment for Paris Match magazine. He already knew Marilyn — they had met on the set of “Let’s Make Love” — but nothing could have prepared him for the day she appeared nude during a swimming pool scene for the motion picture “Something’s Got to Give”.

Lawrence Schiller began his career as a photojournalist for Life, Playboy, and Paris Match, photographing some of the most iconic figures of the 1960s, from Lee Harvey Oswald to Robert F. Kennedy, Robert Redford and Paul Newman. Years went by, the ambitious young man grew up, gained experience and made it to the top. Not only by using his lenses. His many book collaborations include the Pulitzer Prize-winning book with Norman Mailer, “The Executioner’s Song”; and he has written five New York Times bestsellers. He has also directed seven motion pictures and miniseries for television (in fact, “The Executioner’s Song” and “Peter the Great” won five Emmys). He is also the founder of The Norman Mailer Center & Writer’s Colony in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

“Marilyn & Me” is the intimate story of a true star before her fall and a Brooklyn boy. Schiller’s original text and extraordinary photographs—over two thirds of which have never or rarely been published—take us back to that time, and to the surprising connection that allowed Marilyn to bond with the boy, a kid with a lot of ambition but very little experience. Now, 50 years later, Taschen is publishing this story as a signed, numbered monograph limited to 1,962 copies, for the year of Monroe’s untimely death.

Among dozens of books, articles, memoirs, documentaries and films, Schiller’s is a story that has never been told before, and he tells it with tact, humor, and compassion.

Marilyn & Me: A Memoir in Words and Photographs

by Lawrence Schiller

Hardcover in a clamshell box

29 x 39,5 cm

210 pages

£ 650

Taschen

All images are courtesy of Taschen & Lawrence Schiller.