First Lady: 1961 to 1963
Wife of John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK)
Born: July 28, 1929 Died May 19, 1994
Jacqueline Lee Bouvier was born in Southampton, New York, the daughter of Jack and Janet Lee Bouvier. Her father was a New York stockbroker and her mother a society lady. After college, Jacqueline
"Jackie," went to work for the Washington Times-Herald newspaper, as
"The Inquiring Camera Girl." Through her journalistic duties she had the occasion to interview a young Senator named John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Their friendship grew and at times she would take a picnic lunch to share with him at his
office. That same year, 1953, Jackie had the opportunity to cover Queen Elizabeth's coronation in London. Kennedy, meanwhile followed her newspaper reports with great interest, and this interest turned to romance.
Jackie's parents had divorced, and her mother remarried a man named Hugh D. Auchincloss, a Washington stockbroker, who owned a luxurious home in Newport, Rhode Island, called Hammersmith Farm. They were married on September 12, 1953 at St. Mary's Church in Newport, performed by Archbishop Cushing, before six hundred guests. Later that day they received more than one thousand seven-hundred guests at Hammersmith Farm for their reception.
Soon after their marriage, John Kennedy was in bed for eight months, recovering from a spinal fusion operation. During this time, Jackie was busy researching information for his book "Profiles in Courage." Jackie also had problems of her own with pregnancies. Her first two children resulted in no births, but finally she gave birth to two children, Caroline and John, Jr. A third child died immediately after birth. Tragically, John F. Kennedy, Jr., along with his wife Carolyn and her sister Lauren, were killed in a plane crash, piloted by John in July 1999. They were en route from New York to Martha's Vineyard, and crashed into the ocean, within a short distance from Martha's Vineyard. They were cremated and buried at sea, in the location where their bodies were recovered.
Upon John F. Kennedy's election to the Presidency, the White House had a brilliance and excellence which had not been seen in years. It was soon after referred to as "Camelot." Jackie was innovative as mistress, holding stylish receptions, gathering renowned persons from the arts, and holding evening parties at Mt. Vernon. She also restored the White House State Rooms to a historic quality. The glamour ended with the tragic assassination of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Having been present during, and dealing with the psychological horror of the actual shooting, she still maintained dignity during the funeral drama which followed. After trying to remain private, and being unable to do so, she joined the ultra rich, marrying Aristotle Onassis in 1968. Onassis died in 1975, with Jackie still in her forties. She has since associated herself with a New York Publishing Firm. Jacqueline is buried next to her first husband, President John F. Kennedy, at Arlington National Cemetery.