Jackie Kennedy,

Jackie Kennedy,

First Lady - Intermediate

J acqueline Lee Bouvier was born in Southampton, New York on July 28th, 1929. Her father was a wealthy stockbroker whose family had come to the United States from France. Her mother’s family came from England and Ireland. As a girl Jackie was clever but disobedient, often getting into trouble at school. At the age of 10 her parents divorced which was very rare for a Catholic family at this time. This must have been difficult for a young child, but thanks to her mother’s love of horses, Jackie became an accomplished rider and had won several national championships by the age of 11.

Jackie studied abroad in Paris, France as a university student and graduated from George Washington University in 1951. During her student years, she enjoyed writing essays and poetry and even won a contest for Vogue magazine. Her first real job after college was with the Washington Times-Herald newspaper where she interviewed and photographed local citizens off the streets. It was during this time that Jackie met John F. Kennedy, a United States congressman at the time. The couple was married on September 12th, 1953 a little over a year after they met. They had their first child, Caroline, in 1957.

In January 1960 JFK announced he would be running for president of the United States. Jackie helped immensely with the campaign, responding to letters, doing interviews and writing a weekly newspaper column about being a “Campaign Wife”. She was also pregnant during this time. Her husband became president on November 8th, 1960. Two and a half weeks later their second child was born JFK Jr.

Jackie was 31 years old when she became the first lady and is remembered for her family values and restoring the White House with cultural artifacts from past presidents. She established a Fine Arts Committee at the White House and even created a new position, White House curator. Jackie then gave a televised tour of the renovated White House which was watched by 80 million Americans. She later won an honorary Emmy Award for the broadcast. In August 1963 her third child was born, but the baby suffered from lung complications and died two days after birth. Two months later, her husband was assassinated. She was 34 years old. Jackie went on to create the JFK Presidential Library and Museum in Boston as a memorial to her late husband.

She married again in 1968 to a Greek shipping tycoon, Aristotle Onassis and lived overseas until his death in 1975. Jackie then moved back to New York to work as an editor for Viking Press and later for Doubleday publishing. She was known for her fashion and style, conservation of old architecture and her dedication to her family and the arts. She died on May 19th, 1994. She was 64 years old.

Source: https://www.jfklibrary.org/JFK/Life-of-Jacqueline-B-Kennedy.aspx

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