Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy

Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy

Born: July 28, 1929 at Southampton, New York
Died: May 19, 1994 (aged 64) at Manhattan, New York
Spouse: John F. Kennedy (m. 1953 – 63), Aristotle Onassis (m. 1968 – 75)
Children: Arabella Kennedy, Caroline Kennedy, John F. Kennedy Jr., Patrick Bouvier Kennedy

Offices held: 
First Lady of the United States
Political Party: Democratic

Facts about Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy

  • She worked as a reporter and photographer.
  • She was briefly engaged to another man before marrying John F. Kennedy.
  • She was both admired and criticized for her fashionable clothing.
  • She launched a massive renovation of the White House.
  • She opened a school in the White House.
  • She spoke multiple languages.
  • She refused to change her bloodstained pink dress on the day of the JFK assassination.
  • She was the first to refer to the Kennedy administration as Camelot.
  • She won a famous court case against a member of the paparazzi.
  • She was a successful book editor.

Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Childhood

Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis was born on July 28, 1929, in Southampton, New York. Her father, John Bouvier, was a wealthy New York stockbroker of French Catholic descent, and her mother, Janet, was an accomplished equestrienne of Irish Catholic heritage. Onassis was a bright, curious and occasionally mischievous child.

One of her elementary school teachers described her as “”a darling child, the prettiest little girl, very clever, very artistic, and full of the devil.”” Another teacher, less charmed by young Jacqueline, wrote astonishingly that “”her disturbing conduct in geography class made it necessary to exclude her from the room.””

Onassis enjoyed a privileged childhood of ballet lessons at the Metropolitan Opera House and French lessons beginning at age of 12. Like her mother, Onassis loved riding and was highly skilled on horseback. In 1940, at the age of 11, she won a national junior horsemanship competition.

The New York Times reported, “”Jacqueline Bouvier, an eleven-year-old equestrienne from East Hampton, Long Island, scored a double victory in the horsemanship competition. Miss Bouvier achieved a rare distinction. The occasions are few when the same rider wins both competitions in the same show.””

Onassis attended Miss Porter’s School, a prestigious boarding school in Farmington, Connecticut; in addition to its rigorous academics, the school also emphasized proper manners and the art of conversation. There she excelled as a student, writing frequent essays and poems for the school newspaper and winning the award as the school’s top literature student in her senior year.

Also during her senior year, in 1947, Onassis was named “”Debutante of the Year”” by a local newspaper. However, Onassis had greater ambitions than being recognized for her beauty and popularity. She wrote in the yearbook that her life ambition was “”not to be a housewife.””

Upon graduating from Miss Porter’s School Onassis enrolled at Vassar University in New York to study history, literature, art and French. She spent her junior year studying abroad in Paris. “”I loved it more than any year of my life,”” Onassis later wrote about her time there. “”Being away from home gave me a chance to look at myself with a jaundiced eye.

I learned not to be ashamed of a real hunger for knowledge, something that I had always tried to hide, and I came home glad to start in here again but with a love for Europe that I am afraid will never leave me.””

Upon returning from Paris, Onassis transferred to George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and graduated with a B.A. in French literature in 1951. After graduating from college in 1951, Onassis landed a job as the “”Inquiring Camera Girl”” for the Washington Times-Herald newspaper.

Her job was to photograph and interview various Washington residents, and then weave their pictures and responses together in her column. Among her most notable stories were an interview with Richard Nixon, coverage of President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s inauguration and a report on the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Where is Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy buried?

She was buried alongside President Kennedy, their son Patrick, and their stillborn daughter Arabella at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

How did Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy die?

She died in her sleep from cancer on May 19, 1994.