Words of Passion: Famous Love Letters Written by Famous People

Even the most prominent figures in history cannot escape the pull of passion. Here are five quotes from famous letters written by celebrities expressing their true feelings for another.

Samuel L. Clemens to Olivia Langdon

Out of the depths of my happy heart wells a great tide of love and prayer for this priceless treasure confined to my life-long keeping.

It seems fated that Samuel Clemens, better known as the literary giant, humourist with a moralistic side, and former riverboat pilot, Mark Twain, would meet the love of his life aboard Quaker City, a boat touring the Holy Land. When Clemens saw the younger Olivia Louise Langdon, it may have been love at first sight for him, but it took some rather persistent literary persuading before she started to share his feelings. Olivia finally agreed to marry Clemens on February 2, 1870, but the love letters continued. Samuel never gave up the practice of writing his wife intimate and now famous letters expressing his devotion to her.

John Cash to June Cash

That’s really nice June. You’ve got a way with words and a way with me as well.

The Man in Black, legendary country singer Johnny Cash, may have had a tough public persona, but when it came to his beloved second wife, June, he was undoubtedly a man in love. Cash first met June, a well-known singer, in 1956 at the Grand Ole Opera while both were still married to other people. After both marriages ended, the pair collaborated on a recording in 1967 and married shortly after in 1968. The quote above is from a note on yellow notebook paper from Johnny to June. The exact date is unknown, but it was written later in life after the couple retired from touring but shows the bond between the two remained as strong as ever.

Ronald Reagan to Nancy Reagan

You know I love the ranch, but these last two days made it plain I only love it when you are there. Come to think of it that’s true of every place & every time. When you aren’t there I’m no place, just lost in time & space.

Ronald Reagan, former actor and President of the United States, may not have been popular with everyone, but there is no denying that he had a way with words. Nicknamed The Great Communicator for his rousing speeches, Reagan was equally skilled at using the written word to show his wife how much she meant to him. In the now famous letter, written aboard Air Force One on the couple’s 31st wedding anniversary, Reagan lays bare his love and admiration for his wife with simple yet heartfelt words.

Marilyn Monroe to Joe DiMaggio

All I love, all I want, all I need is you—forever.

When two celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and DiMaggio are in a relationship, escaping the pressure of the public and finding time to be alone is problematic. Perhaps those challenges led to the couple’s marriage lasting a mere nine months. Despite post-divorce quarrels, the two would later reconcile and remained close friends until Marilyn Monroe’s untimely death in 1962. The quote above is from a handwritten note Marilyn wrote Joe on March 1, 1954, less than three months into their brief marriage, and is part of one of the famous letters between the two.

Ludwig Beethoven to his Immortal Beloved

Your love made me the happiest and unhappiest at the same time. At my actual age I should need some continuity, sameness of life — can that exist under our circumstances?

Great love can be a balm or a dagger, and when the 41-year-old Beethoven wrote the above words to the mysterious Immortal Beloved in July 1812, the composer was most likely in a melancholy mood. Written messily in pencil over several days while awaiting payment of his annuity in the city of Teplitz, the letter explores his intense feelings and doubts about the relationship. No one is quite sure who Beethoven meant the letter for or if he even sent it, but the passion is undeniable.

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