Marilyn Monroe collector David Gainsborough-Roberts dies in Jersey

David Gainsborough-Roberts

One of the biggest collectors of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia has died following a short illness.

Jersey-based collector David Gainsborough-Roberts, 73, spent his life collecting a variety of memorabilia from famous people.

Last year he sold his entire Marilyn Monroe collection, making £1.5m which he said would go to charity.

Mr Gainsborough-Roberts was born in Buxton, Derbyshire, and died in Jersey on Saturday.

His collection focused on popular history of the 19th and 20th Century, and included keys and coats from the Titanic; Winston Churchill's Stetson hat; and guns owned by Billy the Kid. He even had a pair of Queen Victoria's knickers.

He would tell friends and family that making money from his collection was never the point. He told his friend Murray Norton that "the point is they have a story attached to them".

Image copyright Juliens Auctions
Image caption Mr Gainsborough-Roberts' collection of Marilyn Monroe dresses and other items was auctioned off, raising £1.5m

Mr Norton said his fame stretched far and wide but he would always make time for people.

"If you went to America people would know David Gainsborough-Roberts because he was a regular on the Joan Rivers Show.

"He was known throughout the world. He would give talks in far flung places from Germany to California," Mr Norton said.

Friends have described him as a kind and generous man with a lot of character and enthusiasm.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Monroe's personal items were among Mr Gainsborough-Roberts' collection

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