“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.”
-Jacqueline B. Kennedy Onassis
Jacqueline Lee Bouvier was born on this day in Southampton, New York, in 1929. She would have been 83.
She she had a privileged childhood full of books and riding lessons. She went to Vassar College and after her Junior year abroad, in France, transferred to George Washington University. In 1951 she began to work for the Washington Times-Herald newspaper as an “Inquiring Camera Girl,” roving the streets of the city shooting the people she met and asking them for their opinions on current events. One of the people she met was a young Congressman — and soon to be Senator — from Massachusetts, John F. Kennedy.
Bouvier and Kennedy wed in 1953. In 1960 he ran for President of the United States. Jackie was pregnant with their second child and was confined to home, but she helped Jack with the campaign by writing a weekly column “Campaign Wife,” filming commercials and answering letters. Kennedy won the election by a narrow margin over Richard Nixon. and Jackie became First Lady (a term she disliked because it made her sound like a race horse.)
As First Lady she made renovations to the White House, promoted the arts, and became Good Will Ambassador to the World. But above all she wanted to be a good wife and mother. “If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do well matters very much.”
President Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas, and Jackie became a widow at the age of 34.
In 1968 she fell in love with Aristotle Onassis a Greek shipping magnate and the two married. Sadly, Onassis died in 1975, leaving her a widow for the second time.
Jackie returned to the publishing world, becoming an editor at Viking Press and then a senior editor at Doubleday Press.
She died on May 19, 1994 and is buried next to President Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery.