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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Jackie - After The White House

'Don't let it be forgot, 
that once there was a spot, 
for one brief shining moment 
that was known as Camelot.'

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
michael ochs archives getty images
A few months after the President's death, Jackie moved from their home in Georgetown to a 15-room apartment in Manhattan on Fifth Avenue overlooking Central Park so that she and her children could have more privacy.

Although raising her two young children was her priority, she also focused on the creation of the John F. Kennedy Library and became intricately involved in the architecture and landscaping, as well as the academic direction of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

The public was still fascinated with her style and in 1965, she was named to the Best-Dressed Hall of Fame. In April of that year, Women's Wear Daily ran a double-page spread with the headline “The New York Jacqueline.” The publication assigned a photographer to capture her every outfit, remarking, “Whatever she does/Is The Thing to Do,/Whatever she wears is/The Thing to Wear./Whatever she sees is/The Thing to See. ---So much for privacy, huh?

She dated a few men during this time, including widower Lord Harlech (formerly, David Ormsby-Gore) but, much to America's dismay, on October 20, 1968, wearing a short lace and georgette dress by Valentino (whose designs she favored in the coming decade), Jackie married 62-year-old Aristotle Socrates Onassis in a Greek Orthodox ceremony in the chapel of the Little Virgin on the island of Skorpiós, which Onassis owned. She then split her time between New York (where Caroline and John were attending school at the time), Skorpiós, Athens, and Paris.

Jackie Kennedy wedding to Aristotle Onassis
Jackie Kennedy wedding to Aristotle Onassis - AP Photo Jim Pringle
The marriage was not one made out of love, but more of one for convenience and before long there were reports of their arguing. He was seen in Paris with another woman while she was seen in New York with various other escorts.

In March of 1965, Onassis died from pneumonia in Paris and was buried on Skorpiós. Jackie received an annuity of a reported $250,000; following a long legal battle with his daughter, Christina, Jackie was granted a reported settlement of $26 million, far less than the $125 million or more that she might have received..

The Summer after Onassis died, Jackie took a part-time job as a consulting editor at Viking Press, earning $200 a week. She also began dating Belgian-American diamond merchant Maurice Tempelsman, the two eventually moved in together in 1988.

Jackie Kennedy crusades to preserve Grand Central Station
municipal art society of ny
In 1976, New York's Grand Central Terminal was threatened with demolition. Jackie led a public crusade to save it, won, and it was then designated a National Historic Landmark. She stated, “If we don’t care about our past, we cannot hope for the future." Further civic activities in which she was involved Included the revitalization of the Broadway theater district, the Central Park Conservancy, the Literary Lions of the New York Public Library, the Metropolitan Museum's Egyptian wing and the Costume Institute, and the American Ballet Theater at Lincoln Center.

In 1978 she left Viking Press and took a part-time job as Associate Editor at Doubleday, earning $20,000 a year. She was later promoted to Senior Editor. She enjoyed a successful career in publishing until her death.

On May 19, 1994, Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis died from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. A funeral was held at St. Ignatius of Loyola Roman Catholic Church in New York. Senator Edward Kennedy delivered the eulogy. John F. Kennedy, Jr. read a passage from Isaiah. Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg recited Edna St. Vincent Millay’s “Memory of Cape Cod.” Renowned soprano Jessye Norman sang “Ave Maria.” Jackie was buried alongside the late President and their two deceased infants at Arlington National Cemetery. She was 64 years old.

As stated in her biography on the JFK Library and Museum, Throughout her life, Jacqueline Kennedy sought to preserve and protect America’s cultural heritage. The results of her work are still visible in Lafayette Square, across from the White House in Washington, D.C. While she was first lady, she helped to stop the destruction of historic buildings along the square, including the Renwick Building, now part of the Smithsonian Institution. In New York City, she led a campaign to save and renovate Grand Central Station. Today, more than 500,000 people pass through each day and enjoy its restored beauty, thanks to her efforts.

Jacqueline Kennedy captivated the nation and the rest of the world with her intelligence, beauty, and grace. With a deep sense of devotion to her family and country, she dedicated herself to raising her children and to making the world a better place through art, literature, and a respect for history and public service.

Jackie Kennedy in 1960
1960 AP Photo

At her funeral, John Jr. described three of her attributes: "love of words, the bonds of home and family, and her spirit of adventure." In my own opinion, she was the closest thing America has ever had to royalty, she was one of the world's most famous women, an object of fascination to generations of Americans. There will never be another Camelot again.

Stay tuned for Part Four:  Jacqueline Kennedy - Fashion Icon.  If you missed parts one and two you can find them here and here.


  1. What an incredible woman. She lived her life fully. Love this series! xox

  2. Rivetting post, dear Denise. I had no idea that she received so little (entirely relatively speaking!) money after Aristotle died. I love that she went to work after his passing, even though she obviously did not need the income her job provided. I suspect that she was the type of woman who always liked to stay busy and that working was far more about the fulfillment it brought her soul, than the modest income it earned her (in this way she reminds me a lot of Princess Diana and her devotion to her charity work).

    ♥ Jessica

  3. Wonderful post! This has been a fascinating series on a fascinating woman! Thank you for sharing! I love all the photos! Personally I've always felt that she married Onassis thinking that his millions could finally give her and her children the security and privacy she wanted.
    ~xoxo, CoriLynn

  4. Just catching up on this series now. Really interesting to read about her and plenty I had no idea about. Thank you for sharing all this!


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