Jackie Kennedy will always be remembered for her courage after her husbands death. Few people know what her life was actually like. In this paper I hope to inform you about the good and bad times of Jackies long and at some times treacherous life. Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis was born July 28, 1929. She was the oldest of two daughters born to Janet and Jack Bouvier . She grew up with her parents fighting constantly. Only months after her sister was born her parents got a divorce.
Most of her classmates and teachers thought that the divorce was the reason Jackie acted up in class. Her mother said it was because Jackie finished all her work before the other children and she just got bored. In 1942, when she was thirteen, her mother married Hugh Auchincloss. Jackie divided her time between her fathers home, Merrywood and McLean, Virginia where her mother lived. Jackies junior year of high school she convinced her mother and stepfather to let her study in France for the year. They agreed and soon four of her classmates and her were on their way to France.
When in France Jackie found a love for foreign countries that would help in the future. When Jackie came home she found out that she had won a photography contest for Vogue magazine. She was invited to work as a photographer for the magazine. Her stepfather thought it was a bad idea and talked her out of it. After Jackie graduated from high school she went to George Washington University where she studied photography. After she graduated her stepfather got her a photography job for a newspaper in New York. Not long after she started she convinced her boss to also let her write columns.
In 1942 Jackie met and fell in love with John Husted. They soon got engaged, but her friends and family were skeptical. They thought that Jackie and John didnt share anything in common. They convinced Jackie to call off the engagement. After she called off her engagement Jackie met John F. Kennedy who was running for senator of Massachusetts. In April of 1953 John was sworn-in as senator. As time went on Jackie and Johns relationship grew and on June 24, 1953 John proposed.
On September 12, 1953 the couple were married in Newport, Rhode Island. As Jackie took on the role of senators wife she found herself attending many banquets and balls. Jackie liked most of Johns family; the one exception was Johns mother Rose. Jackie found Rose over-bearing. In October 1954 John underwent extremely risky back surgery for an injury he received during World War II. After the procedure an infection set in, he went into a coma and received his last rites. Jackie was afraid of loosing John and never left his side. To everyones surprise John regained consciousness and after a few weeks was released from the hospital. A year later Jackie had a miscarriage. It was a shock to everyone.
In August 1956 Jackie accompanied her husband to a Democratic National Convention were John was going to run for vice president. He lost to Estes Kefauver. The convention was stressful for Jackie. She was eight months pregnant and reporters wouldnt stop hassling her. On August 23, while vacationing in Europe she began to hemorrhage and collapsed. An emergency cesarean section failed to save the baby, who was stillborn. This devastated Jackie and John. They began to wonder if they would ever have children.
On November 27, 1957 Jackie gave birth to a baby girl named Caroline Bouvier Kennedy. John soon started running for the 1960 presidential election on November 8, 1960. John won the election and became the thirty-fourth president of the United States of America. Just two weeks later, on November 25, 1960 Jackie gave birth to their son John F. Kennedy Jr. Only three months later the Kennedy family moves into the White House. One of the first things Jackie wanted to do as First Lady was to restore the White House. She soon had some of the best interior designers working for her.
As First Lady Jackie was known for her exquisite dinners. She was the most admired woman in the United States and perhaps the world. Soon she faced another tragedy. On August 7, 1963 Jackie prematurely gave birth to a baby boy whom they named Patrick. He died two days later. When Jackie was released from the hospital she told John, there is only one thing I could not bear-if I ever lost you. Then on November 22, 1963 Jackie accompanied John on a campaign trip to Texas and her worst fear come true. An assassin shot John in the head. He died instantly. The funeral was held two days later on John, JRs third birthday.
After her husbands death Jackie moved back to New York as a single mother. Bobby Kennedy, Johns younger brother, asked for Jackies help on his presidential campaign. She was afraid that the past would be repeated. She reluctantly said yes. Only a few months later Bobby was assassinated after leaving a party. Jackie was frightened for her and her childrens safety. She told friends that she had to get out of this country. Four months later she had a new homeland and a new husband, Aristotle Socrates Onassis.
Onassis was so wealthy he could protect her and her children on his private island. Jackie loved her new husband, but many people were skeptical.Aristotle was 20 years older than Jackie. He had some of the same qualities as John, wealth, power and intelligence. Her children saw him as a father figure. On March 13, 1975 he died of complications after surgery. After Aristotles death Jackie moved back to New York and took a job as an editor of a local newspaper. On July 19, 1986 Caroline got married. It was one of Jackies happiest days. Two years later Jackie became a grandmother for the first time.
In January 1994 Jackie found out that she had cancer. Only three months later Jackie died peacefully in her New York apartment surrounded by friends and family. Jackie has and always will be one of the most admired women in America. She was a strong woman and through all the tragedies of her life she never gave up. Friends, family and Americans will always remember her for her courage and strength.
- Spada, James. Jackie Her Life in Pictures. New York: ST. Martins Press, 2000.
- Spoto, Donald. Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: A Life. ST. Martins Press, 2000.
- Leamer, Laurence. The Kennedy Women: The Saga Of An American Family. NewYork: Fawcett Columbine, 1994.