Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Written by admin on November 26th, 2010

Early life

Jacqueline Lee Bouvier was born in Southampton, New York, to Wall Street stock broker John Vernou Bouvier III and Janet Norton Lee. Jacqueline had a younger sister, Caroline Lee, known as Lee, born in 1933. Her parents divorced in 1940 and her mother married Standard Oil heir Hugh D. Auchincloss, Jr. in 1942. Through Janet’s second marriage, Jacqueline gained a half sister and a half brother, Janet and James Auchincloss.

Her mother’s family, the Lee’s, were mostly of Irish descent, and her father, John Vernou Bouvier III was three-sixteenths French and the remainder English. Michel Bouvier, Jacqueline’s great-great-grandfather, was born in France and was a contemporary of Joseph Bonaparte and Stephen Girard. He was a Philadelphia-based cabinetmaker, merchant and real estate speculator.[citation needed] Michel’s wife, Louise Vernou was the daughter of John Vernou, a French migr tobacconist and Elizabeth Clifford Lindsay, an American born woman. Jacqueline’s grandfather, John Vernou Bouvier Jr., fashioned a more noble ancestry for his family in his vanity family history book Our Forebears. Recent scholarship and the research done by Jacqueline’s cousin, John H. Davis, in his book The Bouviers: portrait of an American family have disproved most of these fantasy lineages.

She spent her early years in New York City and East Hampton, New York at the Bouvier family estate, “Lasata”.[citation needed] Following their parents’ divorce, Jacqueline and Lee divided their time between their mother’s homes in McLean, Virginia and Newport, Rhode Island and their father’s homes in New York City and Long Island.

At a very early age she became an enthusiastic equestrienne, and horse-riding would remain a lifelong passion. As a child, she also enjoyed drawing, reading and lacrosse.[citation needed]

Education and young adulthood

Bouvier pursued her secondary education at the Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, Maryland (19421944) and Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, Connecticut (19441947).[citation needed]

When she made her society debut in 1947, Hearst columnist Igor Cassini dubbed her Debutante of the Year.

Bouvier spent her first two years of college at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, and spent her junior year (19491950) in France at the University of Grenoble and the Sorbonne in a program through Smith College. Upon returning home to the United States, she transferred to George Washington University in Washington, D.C., graduating in 1951 with a bachelor of arts degree in French literature. Bouvier’s college graduation coincided with her sister’s high school graduation, and the two spent the summer of 1951 on a trip through Europe. This trip was the subject of Kennedy’s only autobiographical book, One Special Summer, which is also the only one of her publications to feature her drawings.

Following her graduation, Bouvier was hired as the Inquiring Photographer for The Washington Times-Herald. The position required her to pose witty questions to individuals chosen at random on the street and take their pictures to be published alongside selected quotations from their responses in the newspaper. During this time, she was engaged to a young stock broker, John Husted, for three months.

Kennedy marriage and family

Jacqueline Kennedy at Hammersmith Farm in Newport, Rhode Island on the day of her wedding in 1953.

Jacqueline and then-Senator John Kennedy belonged to the same social circle and often attended the same functions. In May 1952, at a dinner party organized by mutual friends, they were formally introduced for the first time. The two began dating soon afterward, and their engagement was officially announced on June 25, 1953.

Bouvier married Kennedy on September 12, 1953, at St. Mary’s Church in Newport, Rhode Island in a Mass celebrated by Boston’s Archbishop Richard Cushing. An estimated 700 guests attended the ceremony and 1,200 attended the reception that followed at Hammersmith Farm.

The wedding cake was created by Plourde’s Bakery in Fall River, Massachusetts. The wedding dress, now housed in the Kennedy Library in Boston, Massachusetts, and the dresses of her attendants were created by designer Ann Lowe of New York City.

The two honeymooned in Acapulco, Mexico, and settled in McLean, Virginia.

Jacqueline suffered a miscarriage in 1955 and gave birth to a stillborn baby girl in 1956. That same year, the couple sold their estate, Hickory Hill to Robert and Ethel Kennedy and moved to a townhouse on N Street in Georgetown. Kennedy subsequently gave birth to a second daughter, Caroline, in 1957, and a son, John, in 1960, both via Caesarian section.





Arabella Kennedy

August 23, 1956

August 23, 1956

Stillborn daughter.

Caroline Bouvier Kennedy

November 27, 1957

Married to Edwin Schlossberg; has two daughters and a son. She is the last surviving child of Jacqueline and John F. Kennedy.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Jr.

November 25, 1960

July 16, 1999

Magazine publisher and lawyer. Married to Carolyn Bessette. Both Kennedy and his wife died in a plane crash, as did Lauren Bessette, Carolyn’s sister, on July 16, 1999, off Martha’s Vineyard in a Piper Saratoga II HP piloted by Kennedy.

Patrick Bouvier Kennedy

August 7, 1963

August 9, 1963

Died from Hyaline Membrane Disease, today more commonly called Infant respiratory distress syndrome, at the age of two days.

First Lady of the United States

Campaign for Presidency

Jacqueline Kennedy campaigning alongside her husband in Appleton, Wisconsin, in March 1960

On January 2, 1960, John F. Kennedy announced his candidacy for the Presidency and launched his nationwide campaign. Though she had initially intended to take an active role in the campaign, Kennedy learned that she was pregnant shortly after the campaign commenced. Due to her previous difficult pregnancies, Kennedy’s doctor instructed her to stay at home. From Georgetown, Kennedy participated in her husband’s campaign by answering letters, taping television commercials, giving televised and printed interviews, and writing a weekly syndicated newspaper column, “Campaign Wife.” She made rare personal appearances.

As First Lady

Mrs. Kennedy, the president, Andr Malraux, Marie-Madeleine Lioux Malraux, Lyndon B. Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson having just descended White House Grand Staircase on their way to a dinner with the French cultural minister, April 1962. Mrs. Kennedy wears a gown designed by Oleg Cassini.

In the general election on November 8, 1960, John F. Kennedy narrowly beat Republican Richard Nixon in the U.S. presidential election. A little over two weeks later, Mrs. Kennedy gave birth to the couple’s first son, John, Jr. When her husband was sworn in as president on January 20, 1961, Kennedy became, at age 31, one of the youngest First Ladies in history, behind Frances Folsom Cleveland and Julia Tyler. Former First Lady Mamie Eisenhower was reportedly unhappy with the idea of John F. Kennedy coming into office following her husband’s term. Despite new First Lady Jackie having given birth to her son John Jr. via caesarean section two weeks prior, Mamie refused to inform Jackie that there was a wheelchair available for her to use while showing Mrs. Kennedy the various sections of the White House. Seeing Mamie’s displeasure during the tour, Jackie kept her composure while in Mrs. Eisenhower’s presence, finally collapsing in private once the new First Lady returned home. When Mamie Eisenhower was later questioned as to why she would do such a thing, the former First Lady simply stated, “Because she never asked.”
Like any First Lady, Kennedy was thrust into the spotlight and while she did not mind giving interviews or being photographed, she preferred to maintain as much privacy as possible for herself and her children.

Kennedy is remembered for reorganizing entertainment for White House Social events, seeking to restore several White House interiors, her taste in clothing worn during Kennedy’s Presidency, her popularity among foreign dignitaries, and leading the country in mourning after her husband’s assassination in 1963.

Kennedy ranks among the most popular of First Ladies.

Social success

As First Lady, Kennedy devoted much of her time to planning social events at the White House and other state properties. She often invited artists, writers, scientists, poets, and musicians to mingle with politicians, diplomats, and statesmen.[citation needed]

Perhaps due to her skill at entertaining, Kennedy proved quite popular among international dignitaries.[citation needed] When Soviet Premier Khrushchev was asked to shake President Kennedy’s hand for a photo, Krushchev said, “I’d like to shake her hand first.” Jacqueline was well received in Paris, France, when she visited with Kennedy, and when she traveled with Lee to India in 1962.[citation needed]

The President and Mrs. Kennedy at La Morita, Venezuela, on December 16, 1961

White House restoration

The White House Blue Room as redecorated by Stphane Boudin in 1962. Boudin chose the period of the Madison administration, returning much of the original French Empire style furniture.

The restoration of the White House was Jacqueline Kennedy’s first major project. She was dismayed during her pre-inauguration tour of the White House to find little of historic significance in the house. The rooms were furnished with undistinguished pieces that she felt lacked a sense of history. Her first efforts, begun her first day in residence (with the help of society decorator Sister Parish), were to make the family quarters attractive and suitable for family life and included the addition of a kitchen on the family floor and rooms for her children. Upon almost immediately exhausting the funds appropriated for this effort, she established a fine arts committee to oversee and fund the restoration process; she also asked early American furniture expert Henry du Pont to consult.

Her skillful management of this project was hardly noted at the time,[citation needed] except in terms of gossipy shock[citation needed] at repeated repainting of a room, or the high cost of the antique Zuber wallpaper panels installed in the family dining room (,000 in donated funds), but later accounts have noted that she managed the conflicting agendas of Parish, du Pont, and Boudin with seamless success;[citation needed] she initiated publication of the first White House guidebook, whose sales further funded the restoration; she initiated a Congressional bill establishing that White House furnishings would be the property of the Smithsonian Institution, rather than available to departing ex-presidents to claim as their own; and she wrote personal requests to those who owned pieces of historical interest that might be, and later were, donated to the White House.

On February 14, 1962, Mrs. Kennedy took American television viewers on a tour of the White House with Charles Collingwood of CBS. In the tour she said, “I just feel that everything in the White House should be the besthe entertainment that’s given here. If it’s an American company you can help, I like to do that. If notust as long as it’s the best.” Working with Rachel Lambert Mellon, Mrs. Kennedy oversaw redesign and replanting of the White House Rose Garden and the East Garden, which was renamed the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden after her husband’s assassination. Her efforts on behalf of restoration and preservation at the White House left a lasting legacy in the form of the White House Historical Association, the Committee for the Preservation of the White House which was based upon her White House Furnishings Committee, a permanent Curator of the White House, the White House Endowment Trust, and the White House Acquisition Trust.

Broadcasting of the White House restoration greatly helped the Kennedy administration.[citation needed] The United States sought international support during the Cold War, which it achieved by affecting public opinion. Mrs. Kennedy celebrity and high profile status made viewing the tour of the White house very desirable. The tour was taped and distributed to 106 countries since there was a great demand from the elite as well as people in power to see the film. In 1962 at the 14th Annual Emmy Awards (NBC, May 22), Bob Newhart emceed from the Hollywood Palladium; Johnny Carson from the New York Astor Hotel; and NBC newsman David Brinkley hosted at the Sheraton Park Hotel in Washington D.C. and took the spotlight as a special Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Trustees Award was given to Jacqueline Kennedy for her CBS-TV tour of the White House. Lady Bird Johnson accepted for the camera-shy First Lady. The actual Emmy statuette is on display in the Kennedy Library located in Boston, Massachusetts. Focus and admiration for Jacqueline Kennedy took negative attention away from her husband. By attracting worldwide public attention, the First Lady gained allies for the White House and international support for the Kennedy administration and its Cold War policies.

Foreign trips

Before the Kennedys visited France, a television special was shot in French with Mrs. Kennedy on the White House lawn. When the Kennedys visited France, she’d already won the hearts of the French people, impressing the French public with her ability to speak French. At the conclusion of the visit, Time magazine seemed delighted with the First Lady and noted, “There was also that fellow who came with her.” Even President Kennedy joked, “I am the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris and I have enjoyed it!”

Pakistani President Ayub Khan and Jacqueline Kennedy with Sardar.

At the urging of John Kenneth Galbraith, President Kennedy’s ambassador to India, Mrs. Kennedy undertook a tour of India and Pakistan, taking her sister Lee Radziwill along with her, which was amply documented in photojournalism of the time as well as in Galbraith’s journals and memoirs. At the time, Ambassador Galbraith noted a considerable disjunction between Mrs Kennedy’s widely-noted concern with clothes and other frivolity and, on personal acquaintance, her considerable intellect.[citation needed]

While in Karachi she found some time to take a ride on a camel with her sister. In Lahore, Pakistani President Ayub Khan presented Mrs. Kennedy with a much-photographed horse, Sardar (the Urdu term meaning eader). Subsequently this gift was widely misattributed to the king of Saudi Arabia, including in the various recollections of the Kennedy White House years by President Kennedy’s friend, journalist and editor Benjamin Bradlee. It has never become clear whether this general misattribution of the gift was carelessness or a deliberate effort to deflect attention from the USA’s preference for Pakistan over India. While at a reception for herself at Shalimar Gardens, Mrs. Kennedy told guests “all my life I’ve dreamed of coming to the Shalimar Gardens. It’s even lovelier than I’d dreamed. I only wish my husband could be with me.” While in Lahore, she had a friendly chat with Iranian Empress Farah Pahlavi, whom many compared[citation needed] to Mrs. Kennedy.

Death of youngest son

Main article: Patrick Bouvier Kennedy

Early in 1963, Kennedy became pregnant again and curtailed her official duties. She spent most of the summer at the Kennedys’ rented home on Squaw Island, near the Kennedy family’s Cape Cod compound at Hyannis Port, where she went into premature labor on August 7, 1963. She gave birth to a boy, Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, via emergency Caesarian section at Otis Air Force Base, five and a half weeks prematurely. His lungs were not fully developed, and he died at Boston Children’s Hospital of hyaline membrane disease (now known as respiratory distress syndrome) on August 9, 1963. The couple was devastated by the loss of their infant son, and that tragedy brought them closer together than ever before.

Assassination and funeral of John F. Kennedy

Main article: John F. Kennedy assassination

John & Jacqueline Kennedy at Love Field in Dallas on the day of the assassination

On November 21, 1963, the First Couple left the White House for a political trip to Texas, stopping in San Antonio, Houston, and Fort Worth that day. After a breakfast on November 22, the Kennedys flew from Carswell Air Force Base to Dallas’s Love Field on Air Force One, accompanied by Texas Governor John Connally and his wife Nellie. A 9.5-mile (15.3?km) motorcade was to take them to the Trade Mart where the President was scheduled to speak at a lunch. Mrs. Kennedy was seated next to her husband in the limousine, with the Governor and his wife seated in front of them. Vice President Johnson and his wife followed in another car in the motorcade.

The Presidential limousine before the assassination. Jacqueline is in the back seat to the President’s left.

After the motorcade turned the corner onto Elm Street in Dealey Plaza, Mrs. Kennedy heard what she thought to be a motorcycle backfiring, and did not realize that it was a gunshot until she heard Governor Connally scream. Within 8.4 seconds, two more shots had rung out, and she leaned toward her husband. The final shot struck the President in the head. Mrs. Kennedy, shocked, climbed out of the back seat and half crawled over the trunk of the car (she later had no recollection of having done this). Her Secret Service agent, Clint Hill, later told the Warren Commission that he thought she had been reaching across the trunk for a piece of the President’s skull that had been blown off. Hill ran to the car and leapt onto it, directing Mrs. Kennedy back to her seat. The car rushed to Dallas’s Parkland Hospital, and on arrival there, the president’s body was rushed into a trauma room. Mrs. Kennedy, for the moment, remained in a room for relatives and friends of patients just outside.

A few minutes into her husband’s treatment, Mrs. Kennedy, accompanied by the President’s doctor, Admiral George Burkley, left her folding chair outside Trauma Room One and attempted to enter the operating room. Nurse Doris Nelson stopped her and attempted to bar the door to prevent Mrs. Kennedy from entering. She persisted, and the President’s doctor suggested that she take a sedative, which she refused. “I want to be there when he dies,” she told Burkley. He eventually persuaded Nelson to grant her access to Trauma Room One, saying “It’s her right, it’s her prerogative”.

Later, when the casket arrived, the widow removed her wedding ring and slipped it onto the President’s finger. She told aide Ken O’Donnell, “Now I have nothing left.”

Jackie wearing her blood-stained pink Chanel suit while Johnson took oath of office as president.

After the president’s death, Mrs. Kennedy refused to remove her blood-stained clothing, and regretted having washed the blood off her face and hands. She continued to wear the blood-stained pink suit as she went on board Air Force One and stood next to Johnson when he took the oath of office as President. She told Lady Bird Johnson, “I want them to see what they have done to Jack.”

Jacqueline Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, John Jr., Caroline, and Peter Lawford depart the U.S. Capitol after a lying-in-state ceremony for John Fitzgerald Kennedy, November 24, 1963

Mrs. Kennedy took an active role in planning the details of the state funeral for her husband, which was based on Abraham Lincoln’s. The funeral service was held at St. Matthew’s Cathedral, Washington D.C., and the burial at Arlington National Cemetery; the widow led the procession there on foot and would light the eternal flame at the grave site, a flame that had been created at her request. Lady Jean Campbell reported back to The London Evening Standard: “Jacqueline Kennedy has given the American people one thing they have always lacked: Majesty.”

Following the assassination and the media coverage which had focused intensely on her during and after the burial, Mrs. Kennedy stepped back from official public view. She did, however, make a brief appearance in Washington to honor the Secret Service agent, Clint Hill, who had climbed aboard the limousine in Dallas to try to shield her and the President.

Life following the assassination

A week after the assassination, Mrs. Kennedy was interviewed in Hyannisport on November 29 by Theodore H. White of Life magazine. In that session, she compared the Kennedy years in the White House to King Arthur’s mythical Camelot, commenting that the President often played the title song of Lerner and Loewe’s musical recording before retiring to bed. She also quoted Queen Guinevere from the musical, trying to express how the loss felt.

Jackie Kennedy’s Official White House Portrait

The steadiness and courage of Kennedy during her husband’s assassination and funeral won her admiration around the world. Following his death, Kennedy and her children remained in their quarters in the White House for two weeks, preparing to vacate. Kennedy and her children spent the winter of 1964 in Averell Harriman’s home in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C., before purchasing her own home on another block of the same street. Later in 1964, in the hope of having more privacy for her children , Mrs. Kennedy decided to acquire an apartment on Fifth Avenue in New York and sold her new Georgetown house; she also sold the country home in Atoka, Virginia, where she and President Kennedy had intended to retire. She spent a year in mourning, making few public appearances; during this time, Caroline told one of her teachers that her mother cried frequently.

Mrs. Kennedy perpetuated her husband’s memory by attending selected memorial dedications. These included the 1967 christening of the Navy aircraft carrier USS?John F. Kennedy?(CV-67) (decommissioned in 2007), in Newport News, Virginia, and a memorial in Hyannisport, Massachusetts. They also included the dedication of the United Kingdom’s official memorial to President Kennedy at Runnymede, England, and the dedication of a park near New Ross, Ireland. She oversaw plans for the establishment of the John F. Kennedy Library, which is the repository for official papers of the Kennedy Administration. Original plans to have the library situated in Cambridge, Massachusetts, near Harvard University, proved problematic for various reasons, so it is situated in Boston. The finished library, designed by I.M. Pei, includes a museum and was dedicated in Boston in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter.

Caroline Kennedy breaks a bottle of champagne against the hull of the US Navy aircraft carrier named after her father. Her mother and her younger brother John F. Kennedy, Jr. look on with smiles at the launch ceremonies for the USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) in May 1967.

Onassis marriage

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During her widowhood, Jacqueline was romantically linked by the press to a few men, notably David Ormsby-Gore and Roswell Gilpatric.[citation needed] But in June 1968 when her brother-in-law Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated, she came to fear for her life and that of her children, saying “If they’re killing Kennedys, then my children are targets…I want to get out of this country.” On October 20, 1968 she married Aristotle Onassis, a wealthy, Greek shipping magnate, who was able to provide her family with the privacy and security she needed for herself and her children.

The wedding took place on Skorpios, Onassis’s private island in the Ionian Sea, Greece. Jacqueline gave up Secret Service protection and her Franking Privilege, to which a widow of a president of the United States is entitled, after her marriage to Onassis. As a result of the marriage, the media gave her the nickname “Jackie O.” which has remained a popular shorthand reference to her.

For a time, the marriage brought her adverse publicity and seemed to tarnish the image of the grieving presidential widow[citation needed], and she became the target of paparazzi who were following her everywhere much to her displeasure and dismay. Despite it all, the marriage initially seemed successful enough, the couple dividing their time between New York City, Paris and Skorpios.

Then tragedy struck again, as Onassis’s only son Alexander died in a plane crash in January 1973. His health began deteriorating rapidly and he died in Paris, on March 15, 1975. Her financial legacy was severely limited under Greek law, which dictated how much a non-Greek surviving spouse could inherit. After two years of legal battle, Jacqueline eventually accepted from Christina Onassis, Onassis’s daughter and sole heir, a settlement of ,000,000, waiving all other claims to the Onassis estate.

Later years

Onassis’s death in 1975 made Mrs. Onassis, then 46, a widow for the second time. Now that her children were older, she decided to find work that would be fulfilling to her. Since she had always enjoyed writing and literature, in 1975 Jacqueline accepted a job offer as an editor at Viking Press. But, in 1978, the President of Viking Press, Thomas H. Guinzburg, authorized the purchase of the Jeffrey Archer novel Shall We Tell the President?, which was set in a fictional future presidency of Edward M. Kennedy and described an assassination plot against him. Although Guinzburg cleared the book purchase and publication with Mrs. Onassis, upon the publication of a negative Sunday New York Times review which asserted that Mrs. Onassis held some blame for its publication, she abruptly resigned from Viking Press the next day. She then moved to Doubleday as an associate editor under an old friend, John Sargent, living in New York City, Martha’s Vineyard and the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis, Massachusetts. From the mid 1970s until her death, her companion was Maurice Tempelsman, a Belgian-born industrialist and diamond merchant who was long separated from his wife.

She also continued to be the subject of much press attention, most notoriously involving the photographer Ron Galella. He followed her around and photographed her as she went about her day-to-day activities, obtaining candid, iconic photos of her. She ultimately obtained a restraining order against him and the situation brought attention to paparazzi-style photography. In 1995, John F. Kennedy Jr. allowed Galella to photograph him at public events.

Among the many books she edited was Larry Gonick’s The Cartoon History of the Universe. He expressed his gratitude in the acknowledgments in Volume 2. Mrs. Onassis’s continuing charisma is indicated by the delight the Canadian author Robertson Davies took in discovering that at a commencement exercise at an American university at which he was being honored, Jacqueline Kennedy was on hand, circulating among the honorees[citation needed].

Former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in 1986 during a visit from the President and First Lady, Ronald and Nancy Reagan

Jacqueline Onassis also appreciated the contributions of African-American writers to the American literary canon. She encouraged Dorothy West, her neighbor on Martha’s Vineyard and the last surviving member of the Harlem Renaissance, to complete The Wedding, a multi-generational story about race, class, wealth, and power in the United States. The novel received great literary acclaim when it was published by Doubleday in 1995; in 1998 Oprah Winfrey introduced the story via a television film of the same name starring Halle Berry. Dorothy West acknowledged Jacqueline Onassis’s kind encouragement in the foreword.

She also worked to preserve and protect America cultural heritage. The notable results of her hard work include Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C, and Grand Central Terminal, New York’s beloved historic railroad stations[citation needed]. While she was First Lady, she helped to stop the destruction of historic homes in Lafayette Square[citation needed], because she felt that these buildings were an important part of the nation capital and played an essential role in its history[citation needed]. Later, in New York City, she led a historic preservation campaign to save and renovate Grand Central Terminal from demolition[citation needed]. A plaque inside the terminal acknowledges her prominent role in its preservation. In the 1980s, she was a major figure in protests against a planned skyscraper at Columbus Circle which would have cast large shadows on Central Park[citation needed]; the project was cancelled, but a large twin towered skyscraper would later fill in that spot in 2003, the Time Warner Center.

From her apartment windows in New York City she had a splendid view of a glass enclosed wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art which displays the Temple of Dendur[citation needed]. This was a gift from Egypt to the United States in gratitude for the generosity[citation needed] of the Kennedy administration, who had been instrumental[citation needed] in saving several temples and objects of Egyptian antiquity that would otherwise have been flooded after the construction of the Aswan Dam.


In January 1994, Onassis was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of cancer. Her diagnosis was announced to the public in February. The family and doctors were initially optimistic, and she stopped smoking at the insistence of her daughter. Onassis continued her work with Doubleday, but curtailed her schedule. By April, the cancer had spread, and she made her last trip home from New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center on May 18, 1994. A large crowd of well-wishers, tourists, and reporters gathered on the street outside her apartment. Onassis died in her sleep at 10:15 p.m. on Thursday, May 19, two and a half months before her 65th birthday. In announcing her death, Jacqueline’s son, John Kennedy Jr. stated, “My mother died surrounded by her friends and her family and her books, and the people and the things that she loved. She did it in her own way, and on her own terms, and we all feel lucky for that.”

Onassis’ funeral was held on May 23 at Saint Ignatius Loyola Church in Manhattan – the church where she was baptized in 1929. At her funeral, her son John described three of her attributes as the love of words, the bonds of home and family, and the spirit of adventure. She was buried alongside President Kennedy, their son Patrick, and their stillborn daughter Arabella at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

In her will, Onassis left her children Caroline and John an estate valued at 0 million by its executors.

Fashion icon

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President Habib Bourguiba (of Tunisia), his wife Moufida Bourguiba, President Kennedy and Jacqueline, in an Oleg Cassini “Nefertiti” dress, 1961.

During her husband’s presidency, Jacqueline Kennedy became a symbol of fashion for women all over the world. She retained French-born American fashion designer and Kennedy family friend Oleg Cassini in the fall of 1960 to create an original wardrobe for her as First Lady. From 1961 to late 1963, Cassini dressed her in many of her most iconic ensembles, including her Inauguration Day fawn coat and Inaugural gala gown as well as many outfits for her visits to Europe, India and Pakistan. Her clean suits, sleeveless A-line dresses and famous pillbox hats were an overnight success around the world and became known as the “Jackie” look. Although Cassini was her primary designer, she also wore ensembles by French fashion legends such as Chanel, Givenchy, and Dior. More than any other First Lady her style was copied by commercial manufacturers and a large segment of young women.

In the years after the White House, her style changed dramatically. Gone were the modest “campaign wife” clothes. Wide-leg pantsuits, large lapel jackets, silk Hermes head scarves and large, round, dark sunglasses were her new look. She often chose to wear brighter colors and patterns and even began wearing jeans in public. She also experimented with different styles, often wearing a large amount of jewelry by Jean Schlumberger (Jewelry designer) and Van Cleef & Arpels, hoop earrings with her hair pulled back, and gypsy skirts.


Grave of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis at the Arlington National Cemetery.

In December 1999, Onassis was among 18 included in Gallup’s List of Widely Admired People of the 20th Century, from a poll conducted of the American people.

Honors and memorials

Onassis’s legacy has been memorialized in various aspects of American culture. They include:

A high school named Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School for International Careers, was dedicated by New York City in 1995, the first high school named in her honor. It is located at 120 West 46th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, and was formerly the High School for the Performing Arts.

Joggers run around this reservoir in the northern portion of New York’s Central Park

Central Park’s main reservoir was renamed in her honor as the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir.

At George Washington University, a residence hall located on the southeast corner of I and 23rd streets NW in Washington, D.C. was renamed Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis Hall in honor of the alumna.

The White House’s East Garden was renamed the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden in her honor.

In 2007, her name and her first husband’s were included on the list of people aboard the Japanese Kaguya mission to the moon launched on September 14, as part of The Planetary Society’s “Wish Upon The Moon” campaign. In addition, they are included on the list aboard NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission.

A school and an award at the American Ballet Theatre have been named after her in honor of her childhood study of ballet.

The companion book for a series of interviews between mythologist Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers, The Power of Myth, was created under the direction of Onassis, prior to her death. The book’s editor, Betty Sue Flowers, writes in the Editor’s Note to The Power of Myth: “I am grateful to Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, the Doubleday editor, whose interest in the books of Joseph Campbell was the prime mover in the publication of this book.” A year after her death in 1994, Moyers dedicated the companion book for his PBS series, The Language of Life to Onassis. The dedication read: “To Jacqueline Onassis. As you sail on to Ithaka.” Ithaka was a reference to the C.P. Cavafy poem that Maurice Tempelsman read at her funeral.

A white gazebo is dedicated to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis on N Madison St. in Middleburg, Virginia. Jacqueline and John F. Kennedy frequented the small town of Middleburg and intended to retire in nearby Atoka, Virginia. Jacqueline also hunted with the Middleburg Hunt numerous times.

Cultural depictions

Main article: Cultural depictions of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Onassis is frequently alluded to and depicted in various forms of popular culture, including films, television series, cartoon series, video games and music. Numerous books and plays have been written about her.

Further reading

Abbott, James A. A Frenchman in Camelot: The Decoration of the Kennedy White House by Stphane Boudin. Boscobel Restoration Inc.: 1995. ISBN 0-9646659-0-5.

Abbott James A., and Elaine M. Rice. Designing Camelot: The Kennedy White House Restoration. Van Nostrand Reinhold: 1998. ISBN 0-442-02532-7.

Abbott, James A. Jansen. Acanthus Press: 2006. ISBN 0-926494-33-3.

Baldrige, Letitia. In the Kennedy Style: Magical evenings in the Kennedy White House. Doubleday: 1998. ISBN 0-385-48964-1.

Bowles, Hamish, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., and Rachel Lambert Mellon. “Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years.” The Metropolitan Museum of Art. bulfinch Press/Little, Brown and Company: 2001. ISBN 0-8212-2745-9.

Cassini, Oleg. A Thousand Days of Magic: Dressing the First Lady for the White House. Rizzoli International Publications: 1995. ISBN 0-8478-1900-0.

Perry, Barbara A. Jacqueline Kennedy: First Lady of the New Frontier University Press of Kansas: 2004. ISBN 978-0-7006-1343-4.

Taraborrelli, J. Randy. Jackie, Ethel, Joan: Women of Camelot. Warner Books: 2000. ISBN 0-446-52426-3

West, J.B. with Mary Lynn Kotz. Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies. Coward, McCann & Geoghegan: 1973. SBN 698-10546-X.

Wolff, Perry. A Tour of the White House with Mrs. John F. Kennedy. Doubleday & Company: 1962.

Exhibition Catalogue, Sale 6834: The Estate of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis April 2326, 1996. Sothebys, Inc.: 1996.

The White House: An Historic Guide. White House Historical Association and the National Geographic Society: 2001. ISBN 0-912308-79-6.


^ John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Jacqueline Kennedy in the White House

^ http://www.jfklibrary.org/Historical+Resources/JFK+in+History/Jacqueline+Kennedy+in+the+White+House.htm

^ http://www.jfklibrary.org/Historical+Resources/JFK+in+History/Jacqueline+Kennedy+in+the+White+House.htm|title=What Jackie Taught Us: Lessons From the Remarkable Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis|author=Tina Santi Flaherty|accessdate=2009-8-17

^ a b The First Ladies Fact Book: The Childhoods, Courtships, Marriages, Campaigns, Accomplishments, and Legacies of Every First Lady from Martha Washington to Michelle Obama, by Bill Harris & Laura Ross, 2009

^ “First Lady Biography: Jackie Kennedy”. First Ladies’ Biographical Information. http://www.firstladies.org/biographies/firstladies.aspx?biography=36. Retrieved 2007-02-06.?

^ Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: A Life, by Donald Spoto, 2000

^ Bouvier, Jacqueline and Lee. One Special Summer. New York: Delacorte Press, 1974.

^ B. Hill & L. Ross, ibid.

^ B. Hill & L. Ross, ibid.

^ Donald Spoto, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis: A Life (2000), 8492; ISBN 0312977077

^ “John and Jackie Kennedy’s Wedding”. LIFE. http://www.life.com/image/50476398/in-gallery/22929/john-and-jackie-kennedys-wedding. Retrieved October 9, 2009.?

^ Special Exhibit Celebrates 50th Anniversary of the Wedding of Jacqueline Bouvier and John F. Kennedy.

^ Bickelhaup, Susan (June 2, 1997). “Resolving ‘Cake-Gate'”. The Boston Globe.?

^ Rosemary E. Reed Miller, The Threads of Time (2007)

^ Sally Bedell Smith, Grace and Power: The Private World of the Kennedy White House (2004)

^ “Big Year for the Clan”. Time Magazine. April 26, 1963.?

^ Jan Pottker, Janet and Jackie: The Story of a Mother and Her Daughter

^ Time Magazine, April 26, 1963, ibid.

^ Barbara Harrison & Daniel Terris, A Twilight Struggle: The Life of John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1992)

^ Molly Meijer Wertheime, Inventing a Voice: The Rhetoric of American First Ladies of the Twentieth Century (2004)

^ a b Carl Sferrazza Anthon, As We Remember Her: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in the Words of Her Family and Friends (2003)

^ A Thousand Days of Magic page 153 by Oleg Cassini

^ Looking Backward: A Reintroduction to American History, by Lloyd C. Gardner, William L. O’Neill

^ All the Presidents’ Children: Triumph and Tragedy in the Lives of America’s First Families, by Doug Wead, 2004

^ The Presidents’ First Ladies, by Rae Lindsay, 2001

^ West, J. B. (1973). Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies. Coward, McCann & Geoghegan. p.?192. ISBN 069810546X. http://www.amazon.com/Upstairs-White-House-First-Ladies/dp/069810546X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266880241&sr=1-1.?

^ Haymann, C. David (1989). A Woman Named Jackie: An Intimate Biography of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. Carol Communications. p.?251. ISBN 0818404728. http://www.amazon.com/Woman-Named-Jackie-Biography-Jacqueline/dp/0818404728/ref=sr_1_1_oe_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266894062&sr=1-1.?

^ “Jacqueline Kennedy biography”. White House. http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/first_ladies/jacquelinekennedy. Retrieved 2009-09-30.?

^ “Gallup Most Admired Women, 1948-1998”. Gallup. http://www.gallup.com/poll/3415/most-admired-men-women-19481998.aspx. Retrieved 2009-08-18.?

^ Perry, Barbara A. (2009). Jacqueline Kennedy: First Lady of the New Frontier. University Press of Kansas.?

^ Schwalbe, Carol B. (2005). “Jacqueline Kennedy and Cold War Propaganda”. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media 49 (1): 111127.?

^ Camel ride pic

^ During the years when India under Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru (whom President Kennedy strongly eschewed) was attempting to forge a policy of non-alignment vis-a-vis the USA and the Soviet Union, American and western public opinion in general was sympathetic to India.

^ Benign Competition – TIME

^ Taraborrelli, J. Randy. Jackie, Ethel, Joan: Women of Camelot. Warner Books: 2000. ISBN 0-446-52426-3

^ Bugliosi (2007). Four Days in November: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy. W. W. Norton & Company. pp.?30, 34. ISBN 9780393332155.?

^ a b William Manchester, Death of a President, 1967

^ W. Manchester, ibid.

^ http://www.jfklancer.com/CHill.html

^ ibid., p. 8299

^ Manchester, Death of a President, 1967

^ Bugliosi ibid., p. 144145.

^ “Selections from Lady Bird’s Diary on the assassination: November 22, 1963”. Lady Bird Johnson: Portrait of a First Lady. PBS.org. http://www.pbs.org/ladybird/epicenter/epicenter_doc_diary.html. Retrieved 2008-03-01.?

^ New York Times Her Majesty: Book Review December 17, 2000, William Norwich: America’s Queen The Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Sarah Bradford. Illustrated. 500 pp. Viking, New York. “Bradford appears to concur with Lady Jean Campbell, who attended President Kennedy’s funeral and wired back to The Evening Standard of London her conviction that the first lady had ‘given the American people from this day on the one thing they always lacked majesty.'”

^ LIFE Magazine, December 6, 1963: Vol. 55, No. 23, ISSN 0024-3019

^ Four Days in November: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, by Vincent Bugliosi

^ The eloquent Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis: a portrait in her own words, Volume 1, by Bill Adler

^ The Georgetown Ladies’ Social Club: Power, Passion, and Politics in the Nation’s Capital, by C. David Heymann

^ http://www.nytimes.com/1994/05/20/obituaries/death-of-a-first-lady-jacqueline-kennedy-onassis-dies-of-cancer-at-64.html?pagewanted=6

^ American Legacy: The Story of John & Caroline Kennedy, by Clemens David Heymann

^ Sweet Caroline: Last Child of Camelot, by Christopher P. Andersen

^ a b Seelye, Katherine (July 19, 1999). “John F. Kennedy Jr., Heir To a Formidable Dynasty”. The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1999/07/19/us/john-f-kennedy-jr-heir-to-a-formidable-dynasty.html?pagewanted=all. Retrieved 2009-11-08.?

^ Silverman, Al (2008). The Time of their Lives. New York: St. Martin’s Press. pp.?171172.?

^ Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis at Arlington National Cemetery website

^ MoMa collection photo

^ Fried, Joseph (January 2, 2005). “Ambush Photographer Leaves the Bushes”. New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/02/nyregion/02folo.html?_r=1&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print&position=.?

^ Nicholas A. Basbanes, A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books. New York: Owl Books, 1999, p. 32.

^ McFadden, Robert D. (1994-05-20). “Death of a First Lady. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Dies of Cancer at 64”. The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/bday/0728.html. Retrieved 2006-09-24. “Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the widow of President John F. Kennedy and of the Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, died of a form of cancer of the lymphatic system yesterday at her apartment in New York City. She was 64 years old.”?

^ Arlington National Cemetery Once More, A Service in Arlington Mrs. Onassis Laid to Rest Beside the Eternal Flame retrieved November 3, 2006

^ “Caroline Kennedy: The 0M Woman”. New York Daily News. 2008-12-24. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2008/12/24/2008-12-24_caroline_kennedy_the_100m_woman.html. Retrieved 2008-12-25.?

^ “Jackie Kennedy: Post-Camelot Style”. LIFE. http://www.life.com/image/first/in-gallery/31382/jackie-kennedy-postcamelot-style. Retrieved 2009-10-09.?

^ Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School

^ Department of Environmental Protection, DEP Unveils Signs Renaming Central Park Reservoir As Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, retrieved November 12, 2006

^ http://www.gwu.edu/~map/hmap/index.cfm?bldg=27

^ The Planetary Society (2007-01-11). “Send a New Year’s Message to the Moon on Japan’s SELENE Mission: Buzz Aldrin, Ray Bradbury and More Have Wished Upon the Moon”. Press release. http://www.planetary.org/about/press/releases/2007/0111_Send_a_New_Years_Message_to_the_Moon.html. Retrieved 2007-07-14.?

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis at the Internet Movie Database

Obituary, NY Times, May 20, 1994

Kennedy Assassination Chronicles (Fall 1995)PDF?(183?KiB) contains much of “the Camelot interview.”

National First Ladies’ Library

Last Will and Testament of Jackie Onassis

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis at Find a Grave

Historical TV Footage from Dallas TV Station KDFW Exclusive television coverageost from the KRLD -TV/KDFW Collection at the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza


Links to related articles

Honorary titles


Mamie Eisenhower

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Motor Torpedo Boat PT-109? Motor Torpedo Boat PT-59? Biuku Gasa and Eroni Kumana


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Why England Slept? Profiles in Courage? A Nation of Immigrants


Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis? Caroline Bouvier Kennedy? John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Jr. (airplane crash)? Patrick Bouvier Kennedy? Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Sr.? Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald Kennedy? Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Jr.? Robert Francis Kennedy (assassination)? Edward Moore Kennedy (Chappaquiddick incident)


First Ladies of the United States

Martha Washington? Abigail Adams? Martha Jefferson Randolph? Dolley Madison? Elizabeth Monroe? Louisa Adams? Emily Donelson? Sarah Jackson? Angelica Van Buren? Anna Harrison? Jane Harrison? Letitia Tyler? Priscilla Tyler? Julia Tyler? Sarah Polk? Margaret Taylor? Abigail Fillmore? Jane Pierce? Harriet Lane? Mary Lincoln? Eliza Johnson? Julia Grant? Lucy Hayes? Lucretia Garfield? Mary McElroy? Rose Cleveland? Frances Cleveland? Caroline Harrison? Mary Harrison? Frances Cleveland? Ida McKinley? Edith Roosevelt? Helen Taft? Ellen Wilson? Edith Wilson? Florence Harding? Grace Coolidge? Lou Hoover? Eleanor Roosevelt? Bess Truman? Mamie Eisenhower? Jacqueline Kennedy? Lady Bird Johnson? Pat Nixon? Betty Ford? Rosalynn Carter? Nancy Reagan? Barbara Bush? Hillary Clinton? Laura Bush? Michelle Obama


Kennedy family

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James Kennedy and Maria Kennedy parents of

— Patrick Kennedy (m.) Bridget Murphy parents of

—— P. J. Kennedy (m.) Mary Augusta Hickey parents of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.

Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald


Philip and Mary Cox? Thomas Fitzgerald and Rosanna Cox? Michael Hannon and Mary Ann Fitzgerald? John Francis “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald (m.) Mary Josephine Hannon parents of Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy

Children of

Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy

(in birth order) Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Jr.? John Fitzgerald Kennedy (m.) Jacqueline Lee Bouvier? Rose Marie “Rosemary” Kennedy? Kathleen Agnes Kennedy (m.) William John Robert Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington? Eunice Mary Kennedy (m.) Robert Sargent Shriver, Jr.? Patricia Kennedy (m./div.) Peter Lawford? Robert Francis Kennedy (m.) Ethel Skakel? Jean Ann Kennedy (m.) Stephen Edward Smith? Edward Moore Kennedy (m./div. 1st) Virginia Joan Bennett; (m. 2nd) Victoria Anne Reggie


(all in birth order)

Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Jr. (19151944)


John Fitzgerald Kennedy (19171963)

Arabella Kennedy? Caroline Bouvier Kennedy (m.) Edwin Arthur Schlossberg? John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Jr. (m.) Carolyn Jeanne Bessette? Patrick Bouvier Kennedy

Rose Marie Kennedy (19182005)


Kathleen Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington



Eunice Kennedy Shriver (19212009)

Robert Sargent Shriver III (m.) Malissa Feruzzi? Maria Owings Shriver (m.) Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger? Timothy Perry Shriver (m.) Linda Potter? Mark Kennedy Shriver (m.) Jeannie Eileen Ripp? Anthony Paul Kennedy Shriver (m.) Alina Mojica

Patricia Kennedy Lawford (19242006)

Christopher Kennedy Lawford? Sydney Maleia Kennedy Lawford? Victoria Francis Lawford? Robin Elizabeth Lawford

Robert Francis Kennedy (19251968)

Kathleen Hartington Kennedy (m.) David Lee Townsend? Joseph Patrick Kennedy II (m./div. 1st) Sheila Brewster Rauch; (m. 2nd) Anne Elizabeth “Beth” Kelly? Robert Francis Kennedy, Jr. (m./div. 1st) Emily Ruth Black (m. 2nd) Mary Richardson? David Anthony Kennedy? Mary Courtney Kennedy (m/div. 1st) Jeffrey Robert Ruhe; (m./sep. 2nd) Paul Michael Hill? Michael LeMoyne Kennedy (m.) Victoria Denise Gifford? Mary Kerry Kennedy (m./div.) Andrew Mark Cuomo? Christopher George Kennedy (m.) Sheila Sinclair Berner? Matthew Maxwell Taylor Kennedy (m.) Victoria Anne Strauss? Douglas Harriman Kennedy (m.) Molly Elizabeth Stark? Rory Elizabeth Katherine Kennedy (m.) Mark Bailey

Jean Kennedy Smith (born 1928)

Stephen Edward Smith, Jr.? William Kennedy Smith? Amanda Mary Smith? Kym Maria Smith

Edward Moore Kennedy (19322009)

Kara Anne Kennedy (m.) Michael Allen? Edward Moore Kennedy, Jr. (m.) Katherine Anne “Kiki” Gershman? Patrick Joseph Kennedy

m. = married; div. = divorced; sep. = separated.

See also: The Kennedy Curse? The Kennedy Compound? Hickory Hill? The Merchandise Mart? Descendants? Political line



Onassis, Jacqueline Kennedy


Bouvier, Jacqueline Lee


First Lady of the United States, Doubleday editor


July 28, 1929


Southampton, New York, U.S.


May 19, 1994


New York City, New York

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