Paul Golob, now a senior editor at Times Books who worked with Mrs. Onassis at Doubleday, said she took a genuine interest in young people in publishing and was often willing to take them under her wing.
After Golob left Doubleday four years ago, they exchanged notes and she even invited him for tea and finger sandwiches in her apartment. On another occasion, during a discussion on a book he was working on about politics, Golob recalled how "she got a faraway look and told me how Jack would take her into the Senate Gallery and point out Senators Russell and Mansfield. It was as if it were my mom telling me about what she and dad had done when they were first married. It was very personal and intimate. She was born to an aristocratic family in Southampton, N.
He was a serial womanizer who could not even get through his honeymoon with Janet Lee--daughter of a self-made millionaire--without launching an affair. Jacqueline was only 10 years old. Though the girls lived with their mother, it was their father whom they adored and who continued to shape their sensibilities and direct their education.
Their mother, meanwhile, plied them with a passion for social climbing--and money. Jacqueline, who was studying ballet and taking riding lessons by the time she was 5, attended the best schools: Miss Porter's and Miss Chapin's, where she listed in her yearbook that her goal was "not to be a housewife. After a junior year at the Sorbonne in Paris she returned to finish her degree in at George Washington University. It was then that the year-old Bouvier met Jack Kennedy, 12 years her senior, at a dinner party at the home of his friend, journalist Charles Bartlett.
Inventing Camelot: How Jackie Kennedy shaped her husband’s legacy
At the time Bouvier was engaged to a New York stockbroker, but she apparently couldn't resist a dashing young man so much like her father. From accounts in several books--both learned and lurid--the young Jackie comes across as a strong-minded, tough, yet sensitive woman who was attracted to the junior congressman from Massachusetts both for love and for his considerable family wealth.
When they married in September, , in front of 3, guests, there is sufficient evidence that Jackie Kennedy had been appropriately warned about her husband's womanizing, his boisterous if not overbearing family and the Kennedy obsession with athletics. She broke an ankle early on trying to join in a game of touch football.
J.F.K.: A Sampler
The Kennedy sisters did not much take to Jackie, ridiculing her little-girl voice and pronouncing her name "Jacklean" to rhyme with queen. She didn't much like them either, calling them "the rah-rah girls. Mostly, his wife disdained the role of campaigning spouse, apparently out of shyness and a dislike of crowds. Once in the White House, though, she fulfilled seemingly well the role of the pre-feminist First Lady: She was the epitome of womanhood. Hers was not the job to advise on health care and foreign policy; rather, she dressed like a princess, hosted extraordinary parties and oversaw the upbringing of her children with the help of a British nanny.
But America seemed willing to forgive such upper-class indulgences. Following in the footsteps of the matronly Mamie Eisenhower, Jackie, as the country came to think of her, was a glamorous model for women to pattern themselves after. When she made it a mission to bring art and culture to the White House, it was as if she were the country's chief docent. Televised evenings with performers such as cellist Pablo Casals made Midwestern housewives feel that, for a moment, the same thing might happen in their own shag-carpeted living rooms.
As Mrs. Kennedy, she was nearly universally adored--even when she was impatient with questions about her clothes or when her eyes glazed over during her husband's speeches. She was so engaging that wherever her mind was drifting, the public was willing to slavishly follow. Bernard West was astounded at her grasp of detail and at her ability to get things done at such a young age.
Yet she was so soft-spoken, so deft and subtle that she could impose that will upon people without their ever knowing it. After the death of their infant son Patrick in the summer of following a miscarriage and the births of Caroline in and John in the First Lady took a long cruise with her sister on the yacht of Lee's then-boyfriend Aristotle Onassis. When the First Lady returned she was refreshed and relaxed. It is still amazing to recall her presence of mind, of history and of theater in the hours and days after his assassination. As she was returning from Dallas, Lady Bird Johnson asked her if she wanted to change out of her blood-caked suit.
Jackie declined, saying: "I want them to see what they have done to Jack. Her dignity at that time perhaps did the most to seal her persona--she was frozen in that queenly pose, her face composed for the nation. That she carried off the next four days with such majesty not only retrieved American stature, but also increased it. Her place in history will probably pivot around those critical four days.
She wanted to be financially set and protected, so she became a rich man's adornment. Though she had more appropriate suitors--including Lord Harlech and Robert McNamara--by the spring of she was becoming increasingly involved with Onassis, who seemed always to be cruising the Mediterranean in his yacht "Christina. But perhaps that was the point. In , Robert F.
First Ladies: Their Lives, Their Influence, Their Imitators
Kennedy, who was trying to follow his brother into the White House, urged her to wait to announce her engagement to Onassis. Kennedy told friends: "I despise America and I don't want my children to live here anymore. If they're killing Kennedys, my kids are No. But on Oct. Kennedy were married during a ceremony that was conducted mostly in Greek. She was 39; he was It rained that day--which Greeks consider to be a good omen. But a month later Onassis was photographed with his old flame, opera singer Maria Callas, and the new Mrs.
Onassis again was embroiled with an unfaithful man--though this time she was at least well-kept in privacy. Though their marriage was long over--Onassis had even hired Roy Cohn to begin divorce proceedings--the shipping magnate's death in made any official separation a moot issue. After visiting the dying Onassis in a New York hospital, she coolly summed up their life together: "Aristotle Onassis rescued me at a time when my life was engulfed in shadows.
2. She was briefly engaged to another man before marrying John F. Kennedy.
He meant a lot to me. He brought me into a world where one could find happiness and love.
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Jacqueline Onassis Dies; First Lady of ‘Camelot’ Was 64
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Related THE MYTH OF CAMELOT: HOW JACKIE KENNEDY CHANGED OUR VIEW OF JFK
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