When Richard Meryman appeared on Larry King Live in 2001 to talk about conducting Marilyn Monroe’s last interview (for Life magazine), he made this great observation:
“My experience with stars is that – through all the publicity and the hype and everything – the public senses the essence of the person. And the essence of Marilyn is she communicated a kind of truth. And truth is very powerful.”
Per a New York Times obituary over the weekend by Sam Roberts, Meryman – who also co-wrote with Joan Rivers the books Enter Talking and Still Talking – passed away February 5 in Manhattan from pneumonia. He was 88.
Meryman served as Life’s first human affairs editor and worked for the publication right through until the end of the magazine’s run in 1972. His other non-fiction books include a biography of American painter Andrew Wyeth and the co-authoring of Louis Armstrong’s 1971 autobiography. His interview with Monroe was published August 3, 1962, two days before her death.