James Dougherty, 84, the retired Los Angeles detective who was the first man to marry Norma Jeane Baker -- before she went off to Hollywood and took the name Marilyn Monroe -- died of complications from leukemia Aug. 15 in San Rafael, Calif.

In 1942, Mr. Dougherty married Baker, who was 16, before he went to sea as a merchant mariner.

Baker set out to pursue a Hollywood career while Mr. Dougherty was gone, and the two were divorced in 1946. Mr. Dougherty remarried twice. Baker, as Marilyn Monroe, married baseball legend Joe DiMaggio and playwright Arthur Miller. She died of an overdose of pills in 1962.

Mr. Dougherty worked for the Los Angeles police department for 25 years, serving as a detective and training the department's first Special Weapons and Tactics group. After he retired in 1974, he moved to Arizona and later to Maine, living in the small town of Sabattus.

For years, Mr. Dougherty refused to talk about his time with Monroe. After his second divorce, though, he became more comfortable with the subject. In 1997, he wrote a book, "To Norma Jeane With Love, Jimmie."

He said he followed Monroe's career until her death in 1962. She was a movie star, while the woman he married was a small-town girl, he said.

"I love her, but I'm not in love with her," he said in a 1997 interview. "There's a lot of difference between loving someone and being in love."

In 1995, he showed up at the Skowhegan post office for a party celebrating a new stamp bearing Monroe's picture. He autographed books of stamps. "It seemed like a nice, positive program," he said. He recalled that the 16-year-old bride's "plans then were to be a homemaker."

Schani Krug, who wrote, produced and directed a documentary, "Marilyn's Man," about Mr. Dougherty, said: "His years with Marilyn Monroe, that was just a small part of his life. He was everything she never had."

His third wife, Rita, died in 2003.

James Dougherty was a longtime L.A. detective.