j lee bouvier kennedy onassis

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis (July 28, 1929 – May 19, 1994) was the wife of the 35th president of the United States, John F. Kennedy, and served as First Lady during his presidency from 1961 until his assassination in 1963. She was later married to Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis from 1968 until his death in 1975. In later years she had a successful career as a book editor.

Early life

Born Jacqueline Lee Bouvier in Southampton, Long Island, New York, she was the daughter of Wall Street Stockbroker, John Vernou Bouvier III and his wife Janet Norton Lee. She had a younger sister, Caroline Lee Bouvier, born in 1933, and later known as Lee Radziwill.

The name "Jacqueline Lee" commemorated both sides of her family — "Jacqueline" celebrating three generations of "Jacks" on her father's side and "Lee" celebrating the surname of her maternal grandparents. In attempts to get on the social register both sides of her family were to make exaggerations about their heritage, with Bouviers making claims they descended from the royal Fontaines in France and the Lees declaring they were part of the "Virginia Lees". She was of mostly Irish, Scottish, and English descent; her French paternal ancestry is distant, with her last French ancestor being Michel Bouvier, a Philadelphia-based cabinetmaker who was her great–grandfather.

Raised in a world of wealth and privilege, she spent her early years between New York City and East Hampton, Long Island at the Bouvier Family estate "Lasata", where she became at a very early age an accomplished equestrienne, a sport that would remain a lifelong passion. As a child, she also enjoyed drawing, reading, and writing poems.

This idyllic childhood came to an end when her parents divorced in 1940. While her father never remarried, her mother married her second husband, Standard Oil heir Hugh D. Auchincloss, Jr. in 1942, and had two children with him, Janet and James Auchincloss. Jacqueline and her sister Lee then settled with their mother's new family, dividing their time between their stepfather's two vast estates, "Merrywood" in Mclean, Virginia, and "Hammersmith Farm", in Newport, Rhode Island, with occasional visits to their father in New York City.

Education, introduction to society, and first job

Jacqueline entered Chapin in New York City in 1935 for kindergarten and the early years of grammar school. From 1942 to 1944 she attended the Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, MD through her first year of high school; she transferred to Miss Porter's School in Farmington, Connecticut for the remainder of high school, graduating in 1947. She spent her first two years of college at Vassar in Poughkeepsie, New York, and spent her junior year (1949–1950) 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 The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., graduating in 1951 with a B.A in French Literature.

Jacqueline was named "Debutante of the Year" for the 1947–48 season.

In 1951, she took her first job as the "Inquiring Camera Girl" for The Washington Times-Herald. Her job was to ask witty questions of people she met in Washington, D.C. The questions and amusing responses would then appear alongside the interviewee's photograph in the newspaper. During that period she was briefly engaged to a young stockbroker, John Husted, but the engagement was called off after three months.

Kennedy marriage and family

Jacqueline Bouvier and then Congressman John Kennedy were in the same social circle and attended the same functions several times but were formally introduced by a mutual friend's wife. Journalist Charles Bartlett,was still interested in Jackie, while married to Martha Buck. Martha called her father about the issue, who advised her to find someone for Jackie. Although Bartlett takes the credit for matching the two, it was really his wife who had. At this time, Kennedy was busy running for a seat at the Senate. The romance progressed slowly but eventually led to a proposal.

They were married on September 12, 1953, at Newport, Rhode Island. The wedding was considered the social event of the season with an estimated 700 guests at the ceremony and 900 at the lavish reception that followed at Hammersmith Farm. Her wedding dress was created by an African American designer, Ann Lowe of New York City. The dress is now housed in the Kennedy Library in Boston, Massachusetts.

After a brief honeymoon, they returned to Washington, DC. Behind all the glamour, however, Jacqueline found it hard to adjust to the demands of political life and the pressure put on her by the Kennedy family. Her husband was a notorious womanizer and marriage did not change his ways. He also had serious health issues, suffering from Addison's Disease, and from chronic and debilitating back pain from a wartime injury. He underwent two spinal surgeries which proved almost fatal due to complications. While he was recovering from the surgeries, Jacqueline encouraged him to write a book, Profiles in Courage, which is about several U.S. senators who had risked their careers to fight for the things in which they believed. The book was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for biography in 1957.

Jacqueline suffered a miscarriage in 1955, and gave birth to a stillborn baby girl in 1956. All of this put considerable strain on the marriage and led to a brief separation, but the couple reconciled and moved in a townhouse on N Street in Georgetown. Jacqueline successfully gave birth to a second daughter, Caroline, in 1957, and to a son, John, in 1960, both via Caesarean section.

Name Birth Death Notes
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 Married to Carolyn Bessette. Both Kennedy and Bessette died in plane crash, as did sister-in-law Lauren Bessette 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, which is now more commonly called infant respiratory distress syndrome.

Candidate's wife

In January 1960, Senator John Kennedy announced his candidacy for Presidency of the United States, and began campaigning around the country. Jackie took an active role in the campaign, even speaking to grocery store shoppers over the PA system in one town. In Appleton, Wisconsin, she signed autographs for junior high school students, commenting that her signature would be more legible than John's. Campaigning in West Virginia hit Jacqueline the hardest, as she had not witnessed that degree of poverty before. Later, in the White House, when the need for new glassware came up, Jackie suggested that Morgantown Glassware from the impoverished state supply it.

Shortly after, Jacqueline learned that she was pregnant and due to previous problem pregnancies, her doctor instructed her to stay at home. From Georgetown, Jacqueline helped her husband by answering thousands of campaign letters, taping TV commercials, giving interviews both televised and printed and by writing a weekly newspaper column, Campaign Wife, which was distributed across the country. She was assisted by her personal secretary, Mary Barelli Gallagher.

First Lady of the United States

Celebrity status

In the general election on November 8, 1960, John F. Kennedy narrowly beat Republican Richard Nixon in the 1960 presidential election. Two weeks later, Jacqueline gave birth to son, John Jr., by Caesarean delivery. When Kennedy was sworn in as president on January 20, 1961, Jacqueline became, at age 31, one of the youngest First Ladies in history, just behind Frances Folsom Cleveland and Julia Tyler.

She was a stark contrast from her recent predecessors who were all much older. She was not only young and attractive, but intelligent and cultivated, and possessed an innate sense of style and elegance. Though she was sometimes criticized for her aloofness, expensive tastes, and European ways, the American public quickly took to her, and made her its idol. Like any First Lady, she was forced into the public spotlight with everything in her life under scrutiny. While she did not mind giving interviews or being photographed, she was worried about the effect it would have on her children. Jacqueline was determined to protect them from the press and give them a normal childhood.

Social success and relations with foreign leaders

Mrs. Kennedy planned numerous social events that brought the First Couple into the nation's cultural spotlight. She had also invited artists, writers, scientists, poets, and musicians to mingle with politicians, diplomats, and statesmen. She spoke fluent French. This appreciation for art, music, and culture marked a new chapter in American history. Jackie's skill at entertaining gave White House events the reputation of being magical. For instance, when she orchestrated a dinner at Mount Vernon in honor of Pakistan's President Ayub Khan, whom President Kennedy wanted to honor for his role in supporting the U.S. in a recent crisis, she banished large U-shaped dining tables, replacing them with smaller round tables that seated eight. Her social graces were legendary, as can be noted from the way she communicated with Charles De Gaulle in Paris and Nikita Khruschev in Vienna. The President's summit in Vienna turned out to be a disaster, but the Premier's enjoyment of Mrs. Kennedy's company was subsequently deemed one of the few positive outcomes. When Soviet Premier Khrushchev was asked to shake President Kennedy's hand for a photo, the Communist leader said, "I'd like to shake her hand first.

French influence in the Kennedy White House

Due in part to her French ancestry, Jacqueline had always felt a bond with France, which was reinforced by her education there. This was a love that would later be reflected in many aspects of her life, such as the menus she chose for White House State Dinners and her taste in clothing and love of ballet. She chose French interior designer Stéphane Boudin of Maison Jansen to consult on the White House Restoration and decoration of the private family quarters on the second and third floors of the Executive Mansion. Mrs. Kennedy recruited a Vietnamese-born French chef to become White House chef.

White House restoration

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, except in terms of gossipy shock at repeated repainting of a room, or the high cost of the antique Zuber wallpaper panels installed in the family dining room ($12,000 in donated funds), but later accounts have noted that she managed the conflicting agendas of Parish, du Pont, and Boudin with seamless success; 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 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 best — the entertainment that's given here. If it's an American company you can help, I like to do that. If not — just 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. Jacqueline Kennedy's 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. The United States sought international support during the Cold War which it achieved by affecting public opinion. Mrs. Kennedy’s 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. 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 Policy

Tour of France

Before the Kennedys visited France, a television special was shot in French with Jackie on the White House lawn. When the First Couple visited France, she'd already won the hearts of the French people, impressing Charles de Gaulle and 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!"

Tour of India and Pakistan

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.

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 ‘leader’). 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 to Mrs. Kennedy.

Death of an infant son

Early in 1963, Jacqueline became pregnant again, and curtailed her official duties. She spent most of the summer in 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 baby boy, named Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, via emergency Caesarian section at Otis Air Force Base, five and a half weeks early. Because his lungs were not fully developed, Patrick could not breathe and he was air-lifted to Boston Children's Hospital where he was placed in an oxygen-rich, pressurized room. He died 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.

Shortly after, Jacqueline, still despondent at the loss of Patrick, received an invitation, through her sister Lee, to a Mediterranean cruise aboard Aristotle Onassis's luxury yacht. Despite concerns of the President's entourage over possible bad publicity it might bring, Jacqueline and her sister went on the cruise along with Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr. and his wife. Upon her return, feeling reinvigorated, she made her first public appearance at the White House in the middle of November 1963 and decided to accompany her husband on an official pre re-election campaign visit to Texas.

Assassination and funeral of John F. Kennedy

On November 21, 1963 they left Andrews Air Force Base, first stopped in San Antonio, and then went to Houston where they toured NASA facilities. Their last stop that day was in Ft. Worth. After a breakfast the next day, November 22, with the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce at The Hotel Texas, President and Mrs. Kennedy flew to Dallas's Love Field. A short motorcade was to take them to the Trademart where he was scheduled to speak. Jackie was seated next to her husband in the limousine when he was shot and mortally wounded in Dealey Plaza. Vice President Johnson and his wife followed in another car in the motorcade. After the President was hit, Jacqueline climbed out of the back seat and crawled toward the the rear, to jump out of the car for her own safety. After his death she refused to remove her blood-stained clothing, and regretted having washed the blood off of her face and hands. She continued to wear the infamous blood stained pink Chanel suit as she stood next to Johnson on board the plane 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 took an active role in planning the details of the state funeral for her husband including the riderless horse and Lincoln catafalque on which his coffin rested in the Capitol rotunda. She led the nation in mourning as the President lay in repose at the White House and then lay in state in the Capitol. The funeral service was held for the President at St. Matthew's Cathedral. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery and Jackie was the first to light the eternal flame at the grave site, which 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, she 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, the President's widow 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. "Now he is a legend when he would have preferred to be a man."

The steadiness and courage of Jacqueline Kennedy during the assassination and funeral won her admiration around the world. Following his death, Jackie and her children remained in their quarters in the White House for two weeks, preparing to vacate. Johnson made several phone calls that were recorded via Dictabelt from the Oval Office to Jackie in the residence; the two also shared several letters and notes back and forth through messengers after the assassination. In the first call on December 2, 1963, she told him that she knew how rare it was to have something in a President's handwriting and that she now had more in his handwriting than she did in John's. The President encouraged her to come and visit with him to spend time talking.

After spending the winter of 1964 in Averill Harriman's home in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C., Jackie decided to purchase a luxury apartment at 1040 Fifth Avenue in New York in the hope of having more privacy for her children. She sold the home she had built in Atoka, Virginia, where she had intended to retire with her husband. She spent a year in mourning, making no public appearances, then zealously guarded her privacy. During this time, her daughter Caroline told her school teacher that her mother cried frequently.

She perpetuated her husband's memory by visiting his grave site on important anniversaries and attending selected memorial dedications. These included the 1967 christening of the Navy aircraft carrier named USS John F. Kennedy (decommissioned in 2007), in Newport News, Virginia, and a memorial in Hyannisport, Massachusetts. In May 1965, Jacqueline Kennedy and Queen Elizabeth II jointly dedicated the United Kingdom's official memorial to President Kennedy at Runnymede, England. This memorial included several acres of soil given in perpetuity from the United Kingdom to the United States of America on the meadow where the Magna Carta had been signed by King John in 1215. She also visited Ireland in 1967 to officially open a special park, dedicated to the late President, located near New Ross, where her husband's ancestors came from.

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, nearly 16 years after the assassination. The governments of many nations donated money to erect the library, in addition to corporate and private donations.

Onassis marriage

On October 20, 1968, Jacqueline Kennedy married Aristotle Onassis, a Greek shipping tycoon, on Skorpios, Greece. Following this, her legal name was changed to Jacqueline Onassis. Four and a half months earlier her brother-in-law, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, had been assassinated in Los Angeles. At that point, Jacqueline feared that the Kennedys were being "targeted", and that she and her children had to leave the United States. Marriage to Onassis appeared to make sense: he had the money and power to give her the protection she needed, while she had the social cachet he craved. He allegedly ended his affair with opera diva Maria Callas to marry her. Jacqueline gave up Secret Service protection and franking privilege, to which a widow of a president of the United States is entitled, after her marriage to Onassis.

For a time, the marriage brought her adverse publicity and seemed to tarnish the image of the grieving presidential widow. However, others viewed the marriage as a positive symbol of the "modern American woman" who would not be afraid to look after her own financial interests and to protect her family. The marriage initially seemed successful, but stresses soon became apparent. The couple rarely spent time together. Though Onassis got along with Caroline and John, Jr. (his son Alexander introduced John to flying; coincidentally, both would die in plane crashes), Jacqueline did not get along with stepdaughter Christina Onassis. She spent most of her time traveling and shopping. It was later learned that she would buy thousands of dollars worth of designer clothing with her husband's money and sell them to consignment shops (often unworn) and keep the proceeds.

In the 1970s, the First Lady's sister Lee Radziwill discussed creating a documentary with Albert and David Maysles about Jacqueline's girlhood in the East Hampton section of Long Island. At about the same time, Jackie's aunt on her father's side Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale "Big Edie" and her daughter "Little Edie" received unwanted national attention when the National Enquirer ran an expose on the deplorable conditions of their East Hampton mansion, Grey Gardens. The Suffolk County Board of Health made a raid ordering them to clean up the property which was falling into disrepair and was being overrun with feral cats. Jacqueline donated $32,000 to clean the house and install a new furnace and plumbing system and cart away 1,000 bags of garbage. The Maysles interviewed the Edies and showed the footage of Radziwill who confiscated the film. The Maysles changed the focus of their documentary to be the Edies instead of the First Lady, and it has become the cult documentary Grey Gardens.

Despite knowing he was near death, Jacqueline was skiing in New Hampshire when Onassis died in 1975. Her legacy was severely limited by a rumored prenuptial agreement and by legislation that Onassis had allegedly persuaded the Greek government to approve, which limited how much a non-Greek surviving spouse could inherit. Jacqueline eventually accepted Christina's offer of $26,000,000, waiving all other claims to the Onassis estate.

Later Years

Life and career in New York

Onassis's death in 1975 made Jaqueline, 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, Jacqueline accepted a job offer as an editor at Viking Press and then, in 1978, 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.

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. Jacqueline 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. On the other hand, her efforts on behalf of Doubleday to enlist Frank Sinatra, the Duchess of Windsor and not surprisingly Queen Elizabeth II as Doubleday authors were firmly rebuffed.

Jacqueline Onassis also appreciated the contributions of African-American writers to the American literary canon and 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 and Oprah Winfrey introduced the story in 1998 to millions of Americans 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’s 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 station. While she was First Lady, she helped to stop the destruction of historic homes in Lafayette Square, because she knew that these buildings were an important part of the nation’s capital and played an essential role in its history. Later, in New York City, she led a historic preservation campaign to save and renovate Grand Central Terminal from demolition. 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, 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 she had a splendid view of a glass enclosed wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art which displays the Temple of Dendur. This was a gift from Egypt to the United States in gratitude for the generosity of the Kennedy administration, who had been instrumental 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 was initially optimistic, and she stopped smoking at the insistence of her daughter. Onassis continued her work with Doubleday, but curtailed her schedule. By April 1994, 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 penthouse apartment at 1040 Fifth Avenue, and she died in her sleep at 10:15 pm on Thursday, May 19, at the age of 64. Her son said, in announcing her death to the world, "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."

Jacqueline Onassis's funeral was held on May 23 at Saint Ignatius Loyola Roman Catholic Church at Park Avenue and East 84th Street in Manhattan, which was the same 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 her spirit of adventure. She was then buried next to President John F. Kennedy, and near their son Patrick and daughter Arabella at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. The New York Daily News ran an issue the next day saying, "Missing Her".

Fashion Icon

During her husband's presidency, Jacqueline Kennedy became a symbol of fashion for women all over the world. She set the style for the early sixties with her clean suits, sleeveless A-line dresses and the pillbox hat that she often wore. In the years after the White House, her style changed dramatically. Gone were the modest "campaign wife" clothes. The styles were changing and she certainly did not want to be stuck in the past. She set styles just as she did as the president's wife, but this time the clothes were different. Wide-leg pantsuits, blue jeans, large lapel jackets, silk Hermes head scarves and of course those large, round, dark sunglasses were her new look. She also experimented with different styles, sometimes wearing lots of jewelry, gypsy skirts, and hoop earrings with her hair pulled back. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis could rightly be called one of the most influential women in fashion.

Legacy, memorials, and honors

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.

In December 1999 Jacqueline Kennedy 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.

Like her assassinated husband, Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis's legacy has been memorialized in various aspects of American and, to a later extent, non-American culture. They include:

  • Central Park's main reservoir was renamed in her honor as the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir.
  • On the campus of her alma mater George Washington University, the residence hall located on the southeast corner of I and 23rd streets NW in Washington, D.C. was renamed Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis Hall
  • Near the White House, a garden was renamed the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden in her honor, shortly after the assassination of her husband.
  • In 2007, her name, along with her assassinated husband's, is being included on the list onboard 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 onboard NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission.
  • There is an award and a school at American Ballet Theatre named after her, in honor of her childhood study of ballet.

Cultural depictions

An American icon from the 1960s and beyond, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis is frequently alluded to and depicted in various forms of popular culture, including films, television series, cartoon series, computer and video games and music. Numerous books and plays have been written about her, as she remains symbolic of 20th century America.



  • Jacqueline Bouvier: An Intimate Memoir, by John H. Davis, John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1996.
  • Farewell, Jackie: A Portrait of Her Final Days, Edward Klein, Viking Books, 2004.
  • All Too Human: The Love Story of Jack and Jackie Kennedy, St. Martin's Press, 2003.
  • Just Jackie: Her Private Years, Ballatine Books, 1999.
  • The Kennedy Curse: Why Tragedy Has Haunted America's First Family for 150 Years, Pocket Books, 1996.
  • Diana & Jackie, Maidens, Mothers, Myths, by Jay Mulvaney, St. Martin's Press, 2002.
  • The Death of a President, by William Manchester, New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1967.
  • "What Would Jackie Do? An Inspired Guide to Distinctive Living", by Shelly Branch and Sue Callaway, Gotham Books, 2006.
  • What Jackie Taught Us: Lessons from the Remarkable Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Tina Santi Flaherty, 2005
  • As We Remember Her: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in the Words of Her Family and Friends, Perigee Trade, 1997
  • Jackie Oh!, Kitty Kelley, Lyle Stuart, 1978.
  • Jackie, the Clothes of Camelot, by Jay Mulvaney, St. Martin's Press, 2001.
  • Jackie by Naomi West & Catherine Wilson Editions de la Martiniere 2006
  • America's Queen The Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. By Sarah Bradford. Illustrated. 500 pp. Viking, New York 2000.
  • Jackie After Jack, Christopher Andersen, William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1998.
  • Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years, Hamish Bowles, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., Rachel Lambert Mellon, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and Bulfinch Press/Little, Brown and Company, 2001.

The Threads of Time, the Fabric of History, 38 Profiles of Afro-American Designers from 1850 to the Present, by Rosemary E. Reed Miller, T & S Press, 2007, 288 pps. $24.95, ISBN 0-970-9713-0-3

Plays and theatre works

  • Jackie O an opera by Michael Daugherty — Houston Opera Studio, Houston, TX.
  • JACKS by Lys Anzia — Fremont Centre Theatre, South Pasadena, CA.
  • Cirque Jacqueline by Andrea Reese — Triad Theater, NY, NY.
  • Jackie, An American Life by Gip Hoppe — Wilber Theatre, Boston, MA.
  • Jackie Undressed by Andree Stolte — Eagles Dare Theater, NY, NY.
  • The Secret Letters of Jackie & Marilyn by Mark Hampton and Michael Sharp, O'Reilly Theatre, Pittsburgh, PA.
  • ''Jackie" by Naomi West & Catherine Wilson Editions de la Martiniere
  • The First Lady by Herman van Veen and Lori Spee
  • Die Prinzessindramen: Der Tod und das Maedchen IV - Jackie by Elfriede Jelinek


One's on the way by Loretta Lynn "and Jackie's seen in a discotheque doing a brand new dance"

Further reading

  • Abbott, James A. A Frenchman in Camelot: The Decoration of the Kennedy White House by Stéphane 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.
  • 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 23–26, 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.


External links

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