Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

First Lady of the United States from 1961 to 1963

Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis (28 July 192919 May 1994) was the wife of the 35th president of the United States, John F. Kennedy, and served as First Lady during his presidency from 1961 until his assassination in 1963. She was married to Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis from 1968 until his death in 1975. In later years, she had a successful career as a book editor.

I think my biggest achievement is that, after going through a rather difficult time, I consider myself comparatively sane.


I should have guessed that it would be too much to ask to grow old with and see our children grow up together. So now, he is a legend when he would have preferred to be a man.
Minimum information given with maximum politeness.
We should all do something to right the wrongs that we see and not just complain about them.
If we don't care about our past we can't have very much hope for our future. ~ Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

|thumb|right|If we don't care about our past we can't have very much hope for our future.]]

One man can make a difference and every man should try.
The deep desire to inspire people, to take an active part in the life of the country … attracts our best people to political life … We should all do something to right the wrongs that we see and not just complain about them. We owe that to our country.
  • I've always thought of being in love as being willing to do anything for the other person — starve to buy them bread and not mind living in Siberia with them — and I've always thought that every minute away from them would be hell — so looking at it that [way] I guess I'm not in love with you.
    • Letter breaking up with a boyfriend in 1947, as quoted in Jacqueline Kennedy's Old Love Letters Will School You in the Art of Breaking Up" by Laura Beck, in Cosmopolitan (2 September 2015)]
  • A newspaper reported I spend $30,000 a year buying Paris clothes and that women hate me for it. I couldn’t spend that much unless I wore sable underwear.
    • The New York Times (15 September 1960)
  • If you bungle raising your children I don't think whatever else you do well matters very much.
  • All these people come to see the White House and they see practically nothing that dates back before 1948. Every boy who comes here should see things that develop his sense of history. For the girls, the house should look beautiful and lived-in. They should see what a fire in the fireplace and pretty flowers can do for a house; the White House rooms should give them a sense of all that. Everything in the White House must have a reason for being there. It would be sacrilege merely to "redecorate" it -- a word I hate. It must be restored -- and that has nothing to do with decoration. That is a question of scholarship.
  • I want to be there when he dies.
    • When told she couldn't access President Kennedy's hospital room (22 November 1963); quoted in The Death of a President (1967) by William Manchester
  • He didn’t even have the satisfaction of being killed for civil rights... it had to be some silly little Communist.
    • To her mother, Janet Auchincloss (22 November 1963); quoted in The Death of a President (1967) by William Manchester
  • Dear God, please take care of your servant John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
    • Inscription for cards at her husband’s funeral (25 November 1963)
  • I want to take this opportunity to express my appreciation for the hundreds of thousands of messages, nearly eight hundred thousand in all, which my children and I have received over the past few weeks. The knowledge of the affection in which my husband was held by all of you has sustained me and the warmth of these tributes is something I shall never forget. Whenever I can bear to, I read them. All his bright light’s gone from the world. All of you who have written to me know how much we all loved him and that he returned that love in full measure.
  • I loathe the French. There's not one French person I can think of except—maybe two very simple people. Maybe Boudin, who's so un-French. You know, they're really not very nice. They're all for themselves.
    • In her 1964 interview with Arthur Schlesinger, quoted in Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy (2011).
  • Now, I think that I should have known that he was magic all along. I did know it — but I should have guessed that it would be too much to ask to grow old with and see our children grow up together. So now, he is a legend when he would have preferred to be a man.
    • Quoted from article written by Jacqueline Kennedy for Look Magazine (17 November 1964) JFK memorial issue.
  • One man can make a difference and every man should try.
    • Written on a card for an exhibit which travelled around the US when the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston was first opening (1979), quoted in Respectfully Quoted : A Dictionary of Quotations (1989) edited by Suzy Platt
  • A camel makes an elephant feel like a jet plane.
    • On a 1962 visit to India quoted in A Hero for Our Time (1983) by Ralph G Martin
  • We know you understand that even though people may be well known they still hold in their hearts the emotions of a simple person for the moments that are the most important of those we know on earth — birth, marriage, death. We wish our wedding to be a private moment in the little chapel among the cypresses of Skorpios.
    • Press Statement issued the day before her marriage to Aristotle Onassis, NY Times (20 October 1968)
  • You were so kind to us yesterday. Never have I seen such magnanimity and such tenderness.
    Can you imagine the gift you gave me? To return to the White House privately with my little ones while they are still young enough to rediscover their childhood — with you both as guides — and with your daughters, such extraordinary young women.
    What a tribute to have brought them up like that in the limelight. I pray I can do half the same with my Caroline. It was good to see her exposed to their example, and John to their charm!
    You spoiled us beyond belief . . . I have never seen the White House look so perfect. There is no hidden corner of it that is not beautiful now.
  • If we don’t care about our past we can’t have very much hope for our future.
  • Whenever I was upset by something in the papers, [Jack] always told me to be more tolerant, like a horse flicking away flies in the summer.
    • Quoted in A Hero for Our Time (1983) by Ralph G Martin
  • Minimum information given with maximum politeness.
    • Instructions to press secretary Pamela Turnure; Quoted in A Hero for Our Time (1983) by Ralph G Martin; sometimes rendered : "I want minimum information given with maximum politeness."
  • It looks like it’s been furnished by discount stores.
    • On the White House; Quoted in A Hero for Our Time (1983) by Ralph G Martin
  • The one thing I do not want to be called is First Lady. It sounds like a saddle horse.
    • Advice to her secretary; quoted in The Kennedys (1984) by Peter Collier and David Horowitz
  • You are about to have your first experience with a Greek lunch. I will kill you if you pretend to like it.
    • Welcoming decorator Billy Baldwin to the island of Skorpios; quoted in Ari (1986) by Peter Evans
  • It was a very spasmodic courtship, conducted mainly at long distance with a great clanking of coins in dozens of phone booths.
    • On her romance with John F. Kennedy quoted in The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys (1987) by Doris Kearns Goodwin.
  • What is sad for women of my generation is that they weren’t supposed to work if they had families. What were they to do when the children were grown — watch raindrops coming down the windowpane?
    • Quoted in The Last Word (1992) edited by Carolyn Warner
  • One of the things I like about publishing is that you don't promote the editor — you promote the book and the author.
    • Interview with Publishers Weekly (19 April 1993)
  • To think that I very nearly didn’t go... What if I’d been here — out riding in Virginia or somewhere — Thank God I went with him.
    • Quoted in The Unknown Wisdom of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (1994) edited by Bill Adler
  • The children have been a wonderful gift to me, and I’m thankful to have once again seen our world through their eyes. They restore my faith in the family’s future.
    • The Unknown Wisdom of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (1994) edited by Bill Adler
  • One must not let oneself be overwhelmed by sadness.
    • Quoted in The Unknown Wisdom of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (1994) edited by Bill Adler
  • The trouble with me is that I’m an outsider. And that’s a very hard thing to be in American life.
    • Quoted in The Unknown Wisdom of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (1994) edited by Bill Adler
  • The river of sludge will go on and on. It isn’t about me.
    • On tabloid stories, as quoted in Newsweek (30 August 1994)
  • Aristotle Onassis rescued me at a moment when my life was engulfed with shadows. He brought me into a world where one could find both happiness and love. We lived through many beautiful experiences together which cannot be forgotten, and for which I will be eternally grateful.
    • Statement at the funeral of Aristotle Onassis, as quoted in Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis : A Life (2000) by Donald Spoto.
  • I think my biggest achievement is that, after going through a rather difficult time, I consider myself comparatively sane.
    • Response to Stephen Spender, on being asked what she considered her proudest accomplishment, as quoted in The Eloquent Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis : A Portrait in Her Own Words (2004) by Bill Adler, p. 5, and p. 232
  • The deep desire to inspire people, to take an active part in the life of the country … attracts our best people to political life … We should all do something to right the wrongs that we see and not just complain about them. We owe that to our country.
    • As quoted in The Eloquent Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis : A Portrait in Her Own Words (2004) by Bill Adler, p. 174
  • You and he were adversaries, but you were allied in a determination that the world should not be blown up. The danger which troubled my husband was that war might be started not so much by the big men as by the little ones. While big men know the need for self-control and restraint, little men are sometimes moved more by fear and pride.
    • Letter to Nikita Khrushchev after JFK assassination, as quoted in One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War (2009) by Michael Dobbs.
  • No one in the world could have ever been like you were yesterday -- except maybe Bobby -- We are going home now -- Your phone was busy.
  • You know that anything -- Stas will take little Bobby to Africa -- I'll take them around the world + to the moon + back -- anything to help you + them now and always.
  • We have known so much & shared & lost so much together—Even if it isn’t the way you wish now—I hope that bond of love and pain will never be cut.

The "Camelot" interview (29 November 1963)

The sun was so strong in our faces. I couldn't put on sunglasses... Then we saw this tunnel ahead, I thought it would be cool in the tunnel...
They were gunning the motorcycles. There were these little backfires. There was one noise like that. I thought it was a backfire...
The song he loved most came at the very end of this record, the last side of Camelot, sad Camelot... "Don't let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment that was known as Camelot."
One week after the assasination of her husband Mrs. Kennedy summoned Theodore H. White to Hyannisport for an interview. Some of the statements she made appeared in that week's edition of LIFE magazine (6 December 1963), and more of it appeared many years later in his memoir In Search of History: A Personal Adventure (1978). In 1969 White donated his notes of the interview to the Kennedy Library, to be made fully public only after Mrs. Kennedy's death. They were released on 26 May 1995.
  • There'd been the biggest motorcade from the airport. Hot. Wild. Like Mexico and Vienna. The sun was so strong in our faces. I couldn't put on sunglasses... Then we saw this tunnel ahead, I thought it would be cool in the tunnel, I thought if you were on the left the sun wouldn't get into your eyes...
  • They were gunning the motorcycles. There were these little backfires. There was one noise like that. I thought it was a backfire. Then next I saw Connally grabbing his arms and saying "no, no, no, no, no," with his fist beating. Then Jack turned and I turned. All I remember was a blue-gray building up ahead. Then Jack turned back so neatly, his last expression was so neat... you know that wonderful expression he had when they'd ask him a question about one of the ten million pieces they have in a rocket, just before he'd answer. He looked puzzled, then he slumped forward. He was holding out his hand … I could see a piece of his skull coming off. It was flesh-colored, not white — he was holding out his hand … I can see this perfectly clean piece detaching itself from his head. Then he slumped in my lap, his blood and his brains were in my lap … Then Clint Hill [the Secret Service man], he loved us, he made my life so easy, he was the first man in the car … We all lay down in the car … And I kept saying, Jack, Jack, Jack, and someone was yelling "he's dead, he's dead." All the ride to the hospital I kept bending over him, saying "Jack, Jack, can you hear me, I love you, Jack."
  • His head was so beautiful. I tried to hold the top of his head down, maybe I could keep it in... but I knew he was dead.
  • When they carried Jack in, Hill threw his coat over Jack's head, and I held his head to throw the coat over it. It wasn't repulsive to me for one moment — nothing was repulsive to me —
  • These big Texas interns kept saying, "Mrs. Kennedy, you come with us", they wanted to take me away from him... But I said "I'm not leaving"… Dave Powers came running to me at the hospital, crying when he saw me, my legs, my hands were covered with his brains... When Dave saw this he burst out weeping... I said "I'm not going to leave him, I'm not going to leave him"… I was standing outside in this narrow corridor... ten minutes later this big policeman brought me a chair.
  • I said, "I want to be in there when he dies"… so Burkeley forced his way into the operating room and said, "It's her prerogative, it's her prerogative..." and I got in, there were about forty people there. Dr. Perry wanted to get me out. But I said "It's my husband, his blood, his brains are all over me."
  • I held his hand all the time the priest was saying extreme unction.
  • The ring was all blood-stained... so I put the ring on Jack's finger... and then I kissed his hand...
  • Everytime we got off the plane that day, three times they gave me the yellow roses of Texas. But in Dallas they gave me red roses. I thought how funny, red roses — so all the seat was full of blood and red roses.
  • But there's this one thing I wanted to say... I'm so ashamed of myself... When Jack quoted something, it was usually classical... no, don't protect me now... I kept saying to Bobby, I've got to talk to somebody, I've got to see somebody, I want to say this one thing, it's been almost an obsession with me, all I keep thinking of is this line from a musical comedy, it's been an obsession with me... At night before we'd go to sleep... we had an old Victrola. Jack liked to play some records. His back hurt, the floor was so cold. I'd get out of bed at night and play it for him, when it was so cold getting out of bed... on a Victrola ten years old — and the song he loved most came at the very end of this record, the last side of Camelot, sad Camelot... "Don't let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment that was known as Camelot."...There'll never be another Camelot again...
  • Do you know what I think of history? … For a while I thought history was something that bitter old men wrote. But Jack loved history so... No one'll ever know everything about Jack. But … history made Jack what he was … this lonely, little sick boy … scarlet fever … this little boy sick so much of the time, reading in bed, reading history … reading the Knights of the Round Table … and he just liked that last song.
    Then I thought, for Jack history was full of heroes. And if it made him this way, if it made him see the heroes, maybe other little boys will see. Men are such a combination of good and bad … He was such a simple man. But he was so complex, too. Jack had this hero idea of history, the idealistic view, but then he had that other side, the pragmatic side... his friends were all his old friends; he loved his Irish Mafia.
  • History!... Everybody kept saying to me to put a cold towel around my head and wipe the blood off... later, I saw myself in the mirror; my whole face spattered with blood and hair... I wiped it off with Kleenex... History! … I thought, no one really wants me there. Then one second later I thought, why did I wash the blood off? I should have left it there, let them see what they've done... If I'd just had the blood and caked hair when they took the picture … Then later I said to Bobby — what's the line between history and drama? I should have kept the blood on.
    • A variant reading of White's notes exists: Then later I said to Bobby — what's the line between histrionics and drama. I should have kept the blood on. but in White's own published memoir In Search of History: A Personal Adventure (1978) this is rendered "what's the line between history and drama?"
  • Jack so obviously demanded from a woman-a relationship between a man and a woman where a man would be the leader and a woman would be his wife. With Adlai Stevenson you could have another relationship-where you know, he'd be sort of be sweet and you could talk, but you wouldn't ever,.. I've always thought women who were scared of sex loved Adlai.
    • Liking Ike: Eisenhower, Advertising and the Rise of Celebrity Politics (2016) David Haven Blake


  • An aim in life is the only fortune worth finding.
    • Attributed in Wisdom Through the Ages : Book Two (2003) by Helen Granat, p. 118; this actually is cited to Robert Louis Stevenson in The Law of Success (1928) by Napoleon Hill: "An aim in life is the only fortune worth finding; and it is not to be found in foreign lands, but in the heart itself."

Quotes about Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Sorted alphabetically by author or source
  • She changed the White House from a plastic to a crystal bowl.
    • Letitia Baldric, as quoted in A Hero for Our Time (1983) by Ralph G Martin
  • She was as close to an American princess as the nation can remember. But she never lived happily ever after with a man who truly loved her.
  • Perhaps she never expected love when she married two remarkable, charismatic and powerful men. Perhaps she settled for too little love. Perhaps she got from her husbands what she may really have wanted-power, money, celebrity, what appeared to be security.
  • Jackie endured it all, even when the women involved include Mafia moll Judith Exner to whom JFK gave expensive gifts, even when some of the relationships turned out to be more than half-hour stands, even when her husband's infidelity was widely known in Washington, even when some of the encounters took place in the White house itself.
  • When JFK was assassinated, Jackie secured his place in history by her brave and resolute conduct. When her death was announced, the first images in the minds of all of us and on all the TV stations were of her shocked face as she stood by Lyndon Johnson at his swearing in Dallas, her blood-stained pink suit she refused to change, her haunted face as she walked beside her husband's casket.
  • It was Jacqueline Kennedy's face, as much as his death, that broke the nation's heart. She became an American folk hero, an enduring fascination.
  • For Aristotle Onassis, Jacqueline Kennedy was the ultimate trophy wife, the world's most famous woman. For her, he may have represented money, security and relief from the permanent First Widow status imposed on her by the public and by her Kennedy in-laws.
  • The public knows few personal details about Jackie's last years, as she wished. But we have never lost our fascination with her, our appreciation of her role as First Lady, our caring about her and our hopes that she had found happiness and love.
Trump has made the decision to echo the styling of a former First Lady: one who arguably had the largest fashion influence of any American President’s wife until, perhaps, Michelle Obama. ~ Rachelle Bergstein
  • Admittedly, Melania Trump looked stunning this morning as she walked into St. John’s Church, wearing a head-to-toe baby blue outfit designed by the reigning king of American sportswear, Ralph Lauren. The knee-length dress, high-necked bolero jacket, matching gloves and stiletto pumps all convey a message of class and elegance, drawing immediate – and likely intentional – comparisons to Jackie O., who wore the same color Oleg Cassini suit fifty-six years ago today: January 20, 1961, the day her husband John F. Kennedy was inaugurated.
  • In her first major statement as the de facto First Lady, Trump has made the decision to echo the styling of a former First Lady: one who arguably had the largest fashion influence of any American President’s wife until, perhaps, Michelle Obama. That choice is simultaneously safe and questionable – safe, because no one doubts that the Oleg Cassini suit worn by Jacqueline Kennedy represents a key historical fashion moment and questionable, because Trump has already had issues with, um…distinguishing herself from those women who came before her.
  • Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, the glamorous wife who was beside John F. Kennedy during his presidency and when he was shot, was for 33 years the most famous woman on Earth.
  • She was first lady in a time — which has not quite ended — when many Americans were put off if a president’s wife seemed too involved in his political career. In almost every presidential marriage you will find a first lady who, while she serves, insists that all politics is left to the president — but when viewed in history, she turns out to have been a significant influence on that presidency. Jackie is no exception.
  • She lived through and reflected a crucial period in U.S. history in which women moved into the mainstream of American professional life and redefined their roles.
  • As idealised Jackie Kennedy morphed into debased Jackie Onassis, and Camelot gave way to Watergate, we ceased to believe in the Eden of the Kennedy era, its heroine descending into postlapsarian guise. Her very costume spoke of this fall: America’s patrician princess, all hats, gloves, and ball gowns, was reborn as a permanently sunglassed plutocrat, skulking about in flip-flops, queen of Skorpios only.
  • This was a former First Lady who gave no interviews for 30 years; a book editor who stalwartly refused to pen an autobiography; a woman who excommunicated friends if they spoke about her and fought to suppress unauthorised revelations. It was an irony that while, as Jackie Kennedy, she embraced the most public of public lives, by nature she was the epitome of the private individual, poised and glamorous, yet reticent and aloof.
  • Jackie has been perceived as a sphynx who very definitely possessed a secret. Around this faux blue-blooded beauty spiralled a web of myth and rumour; fantasies she did not deign to respond to that thus took root as fact.
  • People who tried to say no to Jackie found that she would go to great lengths to outwit them.
    • Sarah Bradford, in America's Queen: The Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (2001)
  • Before her marriage, she worked as a photojournalist for the Washington Times-Herald, interviewing the likes of Richard Nixon and reporting on the coronation of Elizabeth II. In later life, she took jobs at Viking Press and Doubleday, where she helped edit Michael Jackson’s 1988 autobiography, Moonwalk. But her greatest achievement came in those days after Dallas, when the queen of the White House abruptly made herself over as its architect and myth-maker, the equivalent of Guinevere sitting down to write Le Morte d’Arthur.
  • Kennedy of course is best known for her chic fashion sense, something I'm sure Melania Trump admires, but she was more plugged into her husband's administration than she's given credit for: She knew about his plan to get rid of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and she was a sounding board for him during the Cuban missile crisis.
  • Recently, while channel-surfing late one night, I stumbled upon the 1964 comedy "Kisses for My President" in which a hapless Fred MacMurray struggles to cope with being married to the first female president, played by Polly Bergen. Things run amok until Bergen's character gets pregnant and decides to resign the presidency so that she can take care of their family. This ending, absurd to 21st-century audiences, would have made sense to Jackie Kennedy and Eleanor Roosevelt because to them, the concept of a female president was absurd in and of itself. The idea of a first gentleman would have been preposterous.
She refused to change her style and soon millions of American women were copying her ~ Kate Anderson Browser
  • She even apologized to JFK before he became president and told him, “I’m sorry for you that I’m such a dud.” But when her husband asked her to stop wearing head scarfs because she looked too much like a celebrity, she stood her ground. She refused to change her style and soon millions of American women were copying her. It remains to be seen with our current first lady whether her willful approach will help her or hurt her.
  • She had a very acute sense of her image as first lady and how she wanted to use her image to promote her husband's administration and his ideals.
  • On duty as First Lady, Mrs. Kennedy’s impact was profound—a visual metaphor for the President’s youthful, internationally minded administration, and a symbol of a new era of cultural sophistication at the White House. For her formal daytime ensembles, she took a leaf from Britain’s royal dressmakers and their clients, avoiding prints and instead using brilliant solid colors and bold lines that helped her to be easily distinguished in a crowd. Her majestic, strong-silhouetted evening gowns, meanwhile, showcased her statuesque figure and married French grandeur to a thoroughly American breeziness.
  • Throughout, her disciplined elegance revealed an equestrian’s fastidious approach to dressing. Off duty, meanwhile, Jacqueline Kennedy was every inch the liberated sixties woman, barefoot in capri pants and sportif tops that were always chosen with an eye to simplicity of line.
  • During the Onassis years, a jet-set glamour crept in as she shielded herself from the paparazzi gaze behind her trademark bug-eyed sunglasses. That glamor was well-served by her friend Valentino’s sleek day clothes and romantic evening looks. As an esteemed literary editor in the seventies, she dressed the part in a working-woman wardrobe that was practical yet faultlessly stylish.
  • For what would prove to be one of her last public appearances, for the American Ballet Theatre gala at the Metropolitan Opera House in 1993, Jacqueline Kennedy wore a dress by Herrera of white crepe with rhinestone buttons. During the fitting, Mrs. Kennedy Onassis subtly altered the placement of those buttons from the original runway model, streamlining the effect and proving her enduring taste for perfectionism in all things.
  • Jackie Kennedy grabbed the public’s attention with her chic, yet simple fashion sense. From boxy Chanel suits to Halston pillbox hats, she reshaped fashion’s view of conservative clothes and left a noteworthy fashion legacy behind.
  • The Jackie Look, or what I call the A-line look, created a worldwide impression of such dimension that she became the First Lady of the world. There wasn’t one lady on the planet who didn’t want to dress like her, comb their hair like her, walk and talk like her. And it was the first time an American designer could influence world trends.
  • Our Jackie is embodied forever in that bloodstained pink suit. She bore the grief of a nation with such dignity, and then guarded her privacy until she died in 1994 at age 64. This Jackie is harshly judgmental, dispensing petty opinions that say as much about her as they do the objects of her disdain.
  • I want you to know something else, too, that I’m grateful for. In January of 1992 Jackie came to a fundraiser for me when I was running fifth in New Hampshire, and reached out to my wife and to my daughter in ways that I will never forget. One month after, her son had also come to an event for me, when I think I was running sixth in New Hampshire.
  • God gave her very great gifts and imposed upon her great burdens. She bore them all with dignity and grace and uncommon common sense. May the flame she lit so long ago burn ever brighter here and always brighter in our hearts. God bless you friend, and farewell.
  • I can't put it any better than Jackie Kennedy did after the Cuban Missile Crisis. She said that what worried President Kennedy during that very dangerous time was that a war might be started — not by big men with self-control and restraint, but by little men — the ones moved by fear and pride.
  • Like many fellow fashionistas, Donahue is rushing to cram Obama's 5-foot-11-inch frame into the mold left by her timeless predecessor, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The trouble, historians say, is that it's a lousy fit.
  • Kennedy was the epitome of 1960s haute couture. Her style was aspirational, unattainable. Obama is more of a fashion populist. It's hard to imagine Kennedy, in her pillbox hat and leopard-skin coat, dishing about shopping at J.Crew.
  • It was in those brief, heady years or perhaps it was really just one year, during the campaign and election of 1960—when John F. Kennedy and his young, beautiful wife were fast becoming national and then international celebrities that the legend of Jackie was born.
  • Looking back now, even in the light of all we know about her fraught, strained, "storybook" marriage to an obsessively philandering husband, there does seem to be something special about Jackie Kennedy. Maybe it's just that the camera loved her. Maybe she was so intriguing to so many people simply because, set beside the other prominent women in Washington, DC, in the early 1960s, she was young (barely in her 30s), chic and, with her Irish and French ancestry, indefinably and refreshingly "exotic."
  • But whatever the reasons behind her appeal, and however concrete or ineffable they might be, the fact remains that for millions of women around the globe, across generations, the woman in the White House in the Oleg Cassini outfits (made expressly for her), throwing formal dinner parties for artists, writers, scientists and diplomats, traveling the world, was the face not only of a new era but of an utterly new type of American woman. She was, somehow, at once warm and elegant, youthful and sophisticated, fun-loving and serious—and on top of it all, self-deprecatingly funny.
  • Throughout her life, despite the many tragedies she endured (loosing a husband and a baby boy) her poise and style endured. We adore you Jackie O., you are a role model in every sense! 
  • For her it was imperative that everybody who visited the White House should see a house that was beautiful and lived in and that represented so much of American history.
  • Shortly after her husband’s inauguration, she appointed interior designers to aid her transformation introducing warm tones of strong colours such as blue, yellow and red, and applying geometric symmetry in the positioning of furniture to enhance the magnificence of the arched windows and architectural panelling. She transformed the once stuffy interior into one that exuded grace, elegance and refined formality.
  • Her iconic status really came after President Kennedy's death when she withdrew from public life and was rarely heard from publicly. The Jacqueline Kennedy on these tapes fits, I think, with what we might have expected if we think of her from the vantage point of her White House years.
  • These comments, which sound so antiquated to modern ears, reflect, obviously, Mrs. Kennedy's perspective at this moment in her life. Undoubtedly they were derived in part from her background, her class, her sensibility. But they also capture views that were shared by many in her generation.
  • At the same time, the tapes themselves are replete with examples of Mrs. Kennedy's independent thinking and ironically, she describes again and again incidents when her views diverged from those of her husband. Her comments on women in politics, in fact, follows her observation that she found it difficult to forgive politicians with whom JFK had crossed swords while her husband saw such conflicts as very much a part of the business of politics.
  • I think it would be very cynical — and completely wrong — to see her remarks on these tapes as calculated myth making. There is an off the cuff quality to these conversations, a rambling, even at times disjointed mood that shows Kennedy in a reflective mood. Much of what we hear is quite unvarnished. The conversations range over several days and many hours. The sound bites that have gotten the most media attention were stripped of their context and when that is provided, as it is in the tapes, one gets a sense of a person who intensely enjoyed some of her experience in the White House and was overwhelmed by and even abhorred some of what she saw. She does not, it is true, share with Schlesinger any doubts about or criticism of her husband. That isn't surprising.
  • Mrs. Kennedy's dignity in the face of that tragedy moved millions of people and will make her, I suspect, someone who many will always admire. It is, in the end, better to see our presidents — and everyone else around us — as human beings than to engage in an idealization that really diminishes our own agency and sense of responsibility.
  • She was playing a long game, and against all odds she’s still winning it. She had her eye on what she grandly called History, a concept large enough to encompass both her interest in 18th-century France and the necessity of maintaining a complicated fiction—at once face-saving and humiliating—about the nature of her marriage. It’s not a tissue of lies, but it is a tissue, one that has been rent so many times that it should be nothing more than dust motes by now, but she was a woman who brought every one of her formidable gifts to bear when it came to the subject of John Kennedy; and we’re no match for her.
  • And Jackie was herself a sexual sophisticate. She hung illustrations from the Kama Sutra in the dining room of one of her country houses; she was self-confident enough to include pretty young women on the guest lists of her private parties because she knew they invigorated her husband; she understood that she had married a man with a vivid sexual past, and certainly wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
  • Jackie was very modern; her spirit was modern, she was a new image for America because he was a young president.
  • It was not the same relationship or friendship that I had with Audrey (Hepburn). The American people felt emotion for Jackie, but they preferred to have an American couturier design her dresses when they came to France for a state visit.
  • Famous people, in conversation with strangers, will often struggle to point out the space between what we expect of them and who they really are—and that, of course, is another way of drawing attention to our expectation, and so to their celebrity. Mrs. Onassis paid new people the infinitely more difficult compliment of assuming that the baggage you both brought to the table was of infinitely less importance than the new gifts you might take away from it.
  • Undeniably one of the greatest style icons of the last century, Jackie's elegance and class were an inspiration to millions.
  • Not only was Jackie deeply loved and adored, but she set the bar for First Lady fashion. Decades after her time in office, we still reflect on her timeless look and countless articles have been dedicated to copying her style.
  • One of the reasons Jackie was much loved was for her all-American style. Although she constantly had her eye on the Paris and Milan catwalks, she worked closely with designer Oleg Cassini to interpret looks.
  • The key to her lasting influence of course was her timeless elegance, as relevant today as it was in her hey day.
  • Although Jackie had a timeless style she injected a panache and flair into her outfits that gave them her unique stamp. Her staples however, and the accessories we remember her for, are her oversize sunglasses, strands of pearls and silk scarves.
  • Everything about her high society upbringing predicated a charmed life.
  • At age 31, she brought a sense of youth and fashion to Washington, making the pillbox hat the rage and redecorating a stodgy White House. Yet the image that remains seared in the national consciousness is of the First Lady cradling her fallen husband’s head in her lap, her pink suit splattered with his blood.
  • Like no other First Lady before her, Onassis cut a mod figure, with Oleg Cassini outfits, Givenchy gowns and the pillbox hats that topped her bouffant hairdo.
  • Though it must have pained her at times, she remained the perfect political wife.
  • As the years went by, Jackie O somewhere along the way crossed the line from widowed, beloved First Lady to pop icon.
  • Whenever we took her anywhere, she'd immediately be recognized, and before we knew it there would be a swarm of people gawking, and often approaching her to shake her hand. She would smile graciously and offer a polite greeting, but as soon as we were alone, she'd quip, "You'd think I was someone important, for heaven's sake."
    • Clint Hill on his time protecting her, as quoted in Mrs. Kennedy and Me (2012).
  • Of all the first ladies we’ve had, Jackie Kennedy stands out. She changed the role. She was elegant and sophisticated. She took an intense interest in the historical furnishings of the White House. She brought in paintings and furniture that represented the past. She brought entertainers that had not been there before.
  • Michael Beschloss, who has steered this frail craft of last-sip publishing into harbor, may have overstepped himself as a historian by saying that the tapes show Jackie as a major player in the Kennedy administration. But they certainly make it difficult if not impossible to accept her at her own paradoxical valuation, as merely a self-effacing hostess and decorator.
  • If the subject were being a major player in establishing the popular reputation of the Kennedy administration, that would be an entirely different story. With amazingly professional velocity, she seized control of the image-making process and soon had an entire cadre of historians and super-journos honing and burnishing the script.
  • For some people, the 1996 public auction of Mrs. Kennedy’s private effects, down to the most trivial and tangential (such as her Hermès hairbrush), was when the wrong scent began somehow to cling to the business. For others, it was Caroline Kennedy’s release in 2001 of a volume fragrantly titled The Best-Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, which one hopes would not have seduced the incautious purchaser into supposing that the First Lady had ever extended herself into verse.
  • I draw so much inspiration from her. How she influenced style, how she influenced bringing so much to the White House when she was there. So many artists were supported by her and definitely with everything she went through, she was so focused on keeping her children safe, protected and loved and really fulfilling their own dreams and she had such an elegance.
  • First the world will call me Bouvier, hey
    Then I'll change to Jackie K.
    After my date with tragedy
    I'll let Aristotle take care of me
    I want to be Jackie Onassis, oh yeah....
  • If history is any guide, she might be sort of a Jackie Kennedy type, a well-dressed woman who will be seen as popular in the women's magazines but largely stays quiet and on the sidelines in terms of her public image.
  • Today, November 22, 2016, marks the 53rd anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. His legacy of American exceptionalism lives on, much in part due to the words of his widow, Jacqueline Kennedy, who made it her mission to keep her husband’s memory stamped firmly in the minds of Americans and global citizens for years to come.
  • Jackie’s insistent push of this theme exemplifies her keen understanding of public diplomacy, and the importance of maintaining a favorable public image in the eyes of world.
  • She knew what must be done to keep John F. Kennedy’s memory alive. She must glorify his work, and so she did. But, what she didn’t realize was that her own great legacy was one to be remembered too.
  • Jackie's interest in the public opinion and legacy building of the Kennedy Administration didn’t begin only after JFK’s assassination; she was actually a champion public diplomat during her time as first lady, using global public opinion in her favor as she won the hearts of people everywhere. She frequently traveled around the world meeting with various government officials and members of the female press corps professing the image of American idealism. This successful use of soft power set a dynamic for future first ladies to come.
  • During her tenure, Jackie traveled to various countries, and through her comprehensive knowledge of the arts, literature, history, and of course, fashion, Jackie Kennedy was a public diplomat the likes of which America had never seen.
  • On this day, we remember JFK and his tenure as president during some of the most critical and tumultuous days in our history—the Civil Right Movement, Bay of Pigs, Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam. His steady hand and diplomatic touch eased tensions around the world and ensured that his legacy for promoting democratization, equality and hope would live on. But Jacqueline Kennedy will also go down in history—not just for her string of pearls or pillbox hat, or even for her famous pink suit; but for creating a dominant soft power dynamic in American politics, and proving to foreign audiences everywhere that knowledge, appreciation and understanding of other cultures can forge a lasting bond between nations that improve foreign relations immensely.
  • She made a rare and noble contribution to the American spirit. But for us, most of all she was a magnificent wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend. She graced our history. And for those of us who knew and loved her, she graced our lives.
  • She said she's crazy about Ted, but she's known for years that I should have done it fifteen years ago. She was so supportive. She even suggested I use her New York lawyer. If Jackie recommends him and says he's distinguished, he must be good.
  • She said I should look out for myself.
  • Jackie also told me that she wishes she had given me this advice before and maybe I wouldn't have gotten so sick. But back then, fifteen years ago, I probably wouldn't have been able to take her advice.
    • Joan Bennett Kennedy, as quoted in Ted Kennedy: The Dream That Never Died (2010) by Edward Klein.
  • I do not think it altogether inappropriate to introduce myself to this audience. I am the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris, and I have enjoyed it.
    • John F. Kennedy, remarks at SHAPE Headquarters in Paris, France (2 June 1961)
  • If I had to live my life over again, I would have a different father, a different wife, and a different religion.
  • She was present at a scene of martyrdom and an intimate witness, vulnerable to that moment, escaping death herself. It sealed her fate as part of a tragic, fascinating spectacle that played in millions of minds.
  • The worst thing in her life that could possibly happen, happened. And it happened in broad daylight in front of everyone. It was always happening in front of everyone, a ghastly carnival replay of the worst thing that can happen.
  • By this time, there could be no doubt that Jackie had survived and thrived. McNamara, by contrast, was a disappointed and defeated man. Jackie, after numerous failed attempts, had finally succeeded in fashioning a new life.
    • Barbara Leaming on Onassis' later years, in Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The Untold Story (2014).
  • As she had done so many times in the decades since Dallas, she again grappled with the randomness of the world and the abruptness of tragedy.
    • Barbara Leaming on Onassis' cancer diagnosis, in Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The Untold Story (2014).
  • Jackie loved in Jack the man he wanted to be, and David was the man helping him, in her eyes, to be the man Jack wanted to be.
  • Jackie Kennedy's letters underline the behind-the-scenes role of Halle, who urged President Kennedy to bestow honorary U.S. citizenship upon Winston Churchill at special 1963 Rose Garden ceremony. But more importantly, the Halle correspondence provides further insight into the first lady's relationship with JFK during their White House years and the painful aftermath of her husband's November 1963 killing.
  • To be sure, a generation of Americans admired Jacqueline Kennedy's extraordinary grace and courage during her husband's funeral and were naturally protective of her privacy when she was alive. But a wealth of letters and other documents -- including an extensive oral history by Mrs. Kennedy kept under wraps at the JFK Library until 2011 -- remained out of sight, well past her death in 1994, leaving the historical record incomplete.
  • Documents like these are essential tools to gaining a clear and complete understanding our past. Surely, both JFK and Jackie Kennedy, with their keen sense of history, would have understood.
  • Beautiful, intelligent, elegant and immaculately coutured, Jackie was an integral part of the “Camelot” of John F Kennedy’s presidency.
  • Although she would survive her husband by 30 years, she would be haunted and perhaps defined for the rest of her life by those catastrophic few seconds in Dallas when her husband was assassinated beside her.
  • "Jackie Onassis will save us," the famed modern architect Philip Johnson commented when she took the lead in the fight to stop a proposed 59-story office tower from being erected over Grand Central Station. Johnson’s praise, made in 1975, captures how dramatically Mrs. Kennedy altered the public’s view of her and how easy it is to forget, living as we do in the age of Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama, that, prior to the ’60s, presidential wives were seen but rarely heard, especially after their husbands left office.
  • In deciding what to do after she moved away from Washington, Mrs. Kennedy had before her only the modern example of Eleanor Roosevelt, who, following her husband’s death, took an active role in the United Nations and continued writing her newspaper column. But Mrs. Roosevelt was in her sixties when her husband died after 12 years in office. In 1964 Jackie Kennedy was just 35, the widow of a first-term president, when she began setting historical precedents of her own.
  • She looked so much better than the others, and you know why? If you look closely, you can see she had changed the buttons, the shoulders, even move the neckline.
  • If the fashion gods were to curate an exhibition on the world’s most iconic women and their wardrobes, Jackie Kennedy Onassis would undoubtedly feature in the fold. Jackie O - as she affectionately became known in modish circles and beyond - had the ultimate high octane and dramatic life, so her style followed suit.
  • Now Mrs Onassis, Jackie found freedom with threads: naughty thigh-high splits and European style twists blended well with her Mediterranean lifestyle. The perfectly tailored skirt suits and white gloves that epitomised her buttoned-up wardrobe era, were long gone and stayed in the museum of her stylish youth.
  • Never one to leave style behind, Jackie mastered the art of looking stunning without raising too many eyebrows.
  • Until Obama, the iconography of the first lady revolved around Jackie Kennedy. There had been glamorous president’s wives since – Nancy Reagan with her Dynasty gowns, say – but the notion of first lady chic remained almost synonymous with that sunny yet streamlined early-1960s style that is for ever Camelot. Half a century later, wives of heads of state all over the world are still measured against Kennedy, but the comparison is sharpest in the White House. Where her predecessors had tiptoed around the edges of Kennedy style, as if anxious to avoid the comparison, Obama has embraced many elements of the look and made them her own. The sleeveless shift dresses she favours are a direct link, as are the outsize strings of pearls, often framed by wide-set necklines. Even elements of the two women’s hair and makeup are similar, despite their physical difference: note the full, stiffly curled hair and the penchant for false eyelashes.
  • Jackie, as Kenny was about to find out, was an entirely different creature. Like Kenny, she did not give a damn what other people thought of her or her actions. She did what she wanted, a trait that both Jack and Kenny would alternately admire and, especially during the White House years, find maddening.
  • It was clear to the Irish Brotherhood that Jackie was a political asset. Kenny took note of it for the future, though this was not something he needed to write down on an envelope.
  • We had a day trip scheduled, and particularly during a trip like this, you never know what you are going to run into. So I was very concerned about how to handle Jackie. I wanted her to be happy and content. I wanted it to be a good day. My main concern was I did not want her to fall apart, start crying, and cause any trouble for the candidate. I would not have known what to do with a sobbing, hysterical woman.
  • I was astonished when I met her. Larry and I were prepared for a very high-strung, fragile, demanding china doll who couldn’t cope with anything. This is what the buildup had been. We did not know what the hell to expect. Well, I recall the day vividly because she was the most pleasant, sweet, beautiful, elegant child, and very funny. I found her to be that way from that point forward. She was and is simply a delight as a person. She never raised her voice. She never once complained. She was not enthusiastic, but she never complained. In truth, most politicians’ wives are not excited about this aspect of their lives, either, but most are phony and put on a big show. She never did that. She did exactly what you asked of her, but she was never a faker about it. She was not terribly interested in meeting the local politicians, whose big excitement was describing their local shoe factory. It wasn’t that unusual to not want to listen to some of those fellows. Half the time, I didn’t want to listen to them, either. I admired the fact that she wasn’t a phony. I noticed that the locals also seemed to admire the fact that she was not a faker. She was beautiful. Beautiful in a sense that these fellows were not accustomed to seeing. Jackie was very elegant and classy. Unusual, not your regular politician’s wife, but then Jack Kennedy was no average politician. She would travel with Jack, and he would introduce her. She would say a few words and knock everyone dead. All she had to do was say hello, and these average fellows were captivated. It really was a foreshadowing of the future. This was before she had become completely transformed, but you could see that it was coming.
  • She had not yet made the full transformation into this enormously popular national figure, but you could see the potential was there. For the first time, I also saw just how important she was to the senator. Her good humor and wonderful perspective kept him level-headed, and in politics that is critical for a candidate.
  • From the moment Jackie became First Lady, the public was transfixed by her unfussy approach to fashion and beauty. She guided women out of the prim dresses, stiff petticoat skirts and overly styled hairdos of the 1950s and into sleeker, more contemporary designs, such as the simple strapless gown by Christian Dior, worn at the White House in 1962.
  • Jackie guarded her privacy furiously, donning dark glasses – the ultimate celebrity armour – to shield herself from the paparazzi’s unblinking gaze. It’s a marker of her fashion muscle that from the moment she started wearing super-size shades, they instantly became a must-have.
  • Even off duty, Jackie’s dressed-down wardrobe was as masterclass in absolute glamour. Snapped on holiday in the 1970s with the designer Valentino, her carefree barefoot look boasts all the markers of classic Jackie O style: simple, unfussy separates, a monochrome palette, super-sized shades and, of course, her Gucci “Jackie” bag.
  • As a style icon, she will never fade. From the opulent gowns and formal designs for the First Lady during Kennedy’s “Camelot” reign through the post-White House years, when she embraced more informal styles and inspired new trends (white jeans and black turtleneck, the famous bug-eyed shades, the colourful headscarves of the 1970s and 1980s), Jackie’s look was admired and copied worldwide, decade after decade, and remains an iconic example of 20th-century couture.
  • The film depicts one of the darkest periods in American history and during that time she put the grief of the entire country on her shoulders and she helped carry us through it. It was nothing short of heroic the way she conducted herself that week.
  • Jacleen, as she liked to be called, had seemed inseparable from our personal histories: the American princess in the pillbox hat; the cosmopolitan First Lady flirting in fluent French with Charles de Gaulle; the stoic widow showing the country how to grieve with dignity; the celebrity mother insistent upon giving her children a sane upbringing; the surprisingly willing trophy wife of Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis; the dedicated book editor; the still-glamorous grandmother.
  • Imagine living a life that full—and dying young. Yet how strange to think that the mysterious mistress of Camelot left us only last week. To those who had never heard the tiny voice that belied her larger-than-life stature, who never saw the nails bitten ragged beneath the ladylike gloves, it was easy to believe that the woman—like the legend—would never die. Perhaps that is why the public greeted the first news of her illness almost with alarm.
  • John faced the press with the same calm that his 34-year-old mother had displayed three decades earlier, when she had stood on Air Force One in her blood-spattered pink Chanel suit as Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as President. She had seemed so young then but, as it turned out, her life was already more than half over.
  • Mrs. Kennedy very likely read The Once and Future King and perhaps saw or showed to her children the cartoon version of The Sword and the Stone (the first chapter of the four part novel) that Walt Disney produced in 1963. There were biting ironies in her attraction to a legendary kingship that unravels due to the consequences of betrayal and infidelity and to her association of the central myth of English nationality with the United States’ first Irish president. Nevertheless, she looked past these contradictions to focus on the central message of White’s novel that portrayed war as pointless and absurd. President Kennedy, as his widow wanted him to be remembered, was like King Arthur—a peacemaker who died in a campaign to pacify the warring factions of mankind.
  • One must admire Mrs. Kennedy for the skill with which she deployed these images in the difficult aftermath of her husband’s death. Our retrospective view of President Kennedy is now filtered through the legends and symbols she put forward at that time. The hardheaded politician devoted to step-by- step progress was transformed in death into the consummate liberal idealist.
  • Difficult as it may be to accept, the posthumous image of JFK reflected more the idealistic beliefs of Mrs. Kennedy than the practical political liberalism of the man himself.
  • By turning President Kennedy into a liberal idealist (which he was not) and a near legendary figure, Mrs. Kennedy inadvertently contributed to the unwinding of the tradition of American liberalism that her husband represented in life. The images she advanced had a double effect: first, to establish Kennedy as a transcendent political figure far superior to any contemporary rival; and, second, to highlight what the nation had lost when he was killed. The two elements were mirror images of one another.
  • Mrs. Kennedy’s image fostered nostalgia for the past in the belief that the Kennedy administration represented a peak of achievement that could not be duplicated. The legend of the Kennedy years as unique or magical was, in addition, divorced from real accomplishments as measured by important programs passed or difficult problems solved. The magical aspect of the New Frontier was located, by contrast, in its style and sophisticated attitude rather than in its concrete achievements. Mrs. Kennedy, without intending to do so and without understanding the consequences of her image making, put forward an interpretation of John F. Kennedy’s life and death that magnified the consequences of the assassination while leaving his successors with little upon which to build.
  • The moment when she crawled out onto the back of the open limousine in which her husband had been murdered was the first and last time the American people would see Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis crawl... She was the last great private public figure in this country. In a time of gilt and glitz and perpetual revelation, she was perpetually associated with that thing so difficult to describe yet so simple to recognize, the apotheosis of dignity.
  • I wanna be Jackie Onassis. I wanna wear a pair of dark sunglasses. I wanna be Jackie. Oooh, please don't die!
  • The day John F. Kennedy was shot, Jacqueline Kennedy became the nation's mother, guiding Americans through their shock.
  • Nobody knows what kind of First Lady Melania will be. There's no precedent for his presidency, so no precedent for her First Lady-ship. For now, we can only use past First Ladies as a benchmark, and Jackie might be the only comparison that sticks. Both Jackie and Melania married powerful men with name-brand families; both accustomed themselves to luxury; both chose to be fierce mothers, not fierce professionals.
  • Jackie chose to preserve tradition, making the White House more regal with art and historical knickknacks.
  • Before she was Jackie Kennedy, the most iconic first lady in American history, Jacqueline Bouvier was simply a young girl who loved horses.
  • Looking at the photos, it is easy to see why Mr. Morgan was so taken with Jackie. From a young age, she did not appear to be burdened with the traces of self-doubt, insecurity or immaturity that most children possess, to some degree, during their formative years. Rather, what she exudes in the photos, by turns, is poise and playfulness, an air of dignified yet unflappable confidence, and at times hints of a mischievousness and strong-willed personality.
  • Throughout the documentation as she grows from a small child to a young adult, a constant theme remains—her natural beauty, grace and magnetism.
  • Even during the tragedies Jackie experienced, she was still strong.
  • Looking back at her life, it is no wonder that she continues to inspire so many women today. She was a style icon, famous for her pillbox hats and A-line suits, but also a strong women who dealt with endless personal crises (she later also lost her second husband and her brother-in-law) in the public eye. Many of her words went on to inspire new generations, and her determination to keep on going is something all women can learn from today.
  • I didn't meet her until I came to New York, and I think that so much of who she was is present on these tapes -- funny, irreverent, incredibly intuitive and wildly intelligent. She read everything, and she had been a real student of history.
  • Let the skeptics snort about Camelot, but there was something during the Kennedy years that was magic. Jackie was more of that than anyone admitted for a long while. She smoothed the rough Kennedy edges. As much as anyone in those heady days, she grasped the epic dimensions of the adventure. No small portion of the glamour of the Kennedy stewardship that lives on today came from her standards of public propriety and majesty.
    • Hugh Sidey, as quoted in TIME magazine, Vol. 143 (1994)
  • It was a softly tailored suit of armor; the most feminine exemplar of power dressing, which Jackie Kennedy invented.
  • If she is the style gold standard any First Lady must live in the shadow of, if not actively aspire to emulate, Mrs. Trump, who herself has spoken admiringly of Mrs. Kennedy, completed the look with retro, luxe-looking gloves.
  • She had the kind of poise, tact, grace, and natural confidence that should put you at ease, but do not, because of a tension that ruled out flaws. Now and then her voice would shift from its breathy whisper to a momentary, guttural rasp—an indication, perhaps, of earthy easements that the public never suspected.
  • Today, she’s remembered as a wife, mother and graceful figure who championed the arts and literature. But Jackie is also a bonafide fashion icon who inspired millions with her chic wardrobe and effortless style.
  • Jackie's signature shades were both stylish and functional.
  • Though her hairstyle evolved over the years, Jackie's voluminous coif was an integral part of her signature look.
  • As far as Jackie was concerned, the only thing better than a rich man was an obscenely rich man.
    • Gore Vidal, as quoted in The Good Son: JFK Jr. and the Mother He Loved (2014) by Christopher Andersen
  • The coming of television, and the jet age which allowed an unprecedented range of presidential travels, made hers one of the most famous faces of the century. And her husband's assassination in Dallas made her the very symbol of grief and loss.
  • Until the assassination of her husband, she performed in public precisely as he and American public opinion would have wished in a pre-feminist era. She appeared content to be the ultimate presidential accessory, providing glamour and children and that stylish patina of old money which approximates aristocracy in America.
  • Having married the first president young and dashing enough to be a Prince Charming, rather than symbolic father of the nation, she put up with her own role as consort-accessory.
  • She brought to the task a flair and a style which made it acceptable to be a cosmopolitan in America, to drink wine and enjoy art, and to impose her Francophile tastes on that ultimate American symbol, the White House.
  • All she was fundamentally interested in was money. That was really the guiding motive of her life.
    • John White, Times–Herald writer, as quoted in America's Queen: The Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (2001) by Sarah Bradford
  • She’s remembered for her trademark fashion sense and breathy voice, but few people know how large a role Jackie Kennedy played in her husband’s life and establishing his legacy. She was a woman who wasn’t afraid to take control of history — and even 50 years later, we still remember her husband the way she wanted us to. Modern women can learn from her graceful style and the composed front she presented to the world, but we can learn even more from what went on behind the scenes.
  • As JFK campaigned, America began to take note of Jackie’s excellent sense of fashion and graceful way of speaking — transforming her from a poised housewife to a celebrity in a matter of months.
  • She didn’t live to please the public, but instead centered her goals on being a good wife to Jack and mother to their two children, Caroline and John Jr. What made her so glamorous was that she wasn’t trying to be — and there’s something to be said for a woman who shied away from attention in a world that is increasingly attention-obsessed.
  • Her devotion never faltered, even with the knowledge of JFK’s numerous affairs. And though it was the early 60s and the gender roles of the 1950s were still firmly in place, their relationship was called “Victorian” by some.
  • So for 50 years, JFK’s brief term in the White House has been known as Camelot. He continually ranks highly on the list of America’s favorite presidents and is remembered for being a young, fresh face in American politics rather than for his criticisms. While we can attribute much of his popularity to his charm, it’s also important to realize how much Jackie affected how people would see her husband for years to come. She is the woman behind the legacy.
  • Jackie Kennedy has had such a strong impact on the world that countless books and articles have been and continue to be written about her. At one time, she was even the most sought-after photograph subject in the world! If you know anything about Jackie, you won't find that hard to believe. From her dashing sense of style to her personable attitude and demeanor, she was a favorite of the people during John Kennedy's presidency and continued to fascinate the public even after his death in 1963.
  • Ever since she came into the limelight as the first lady, she's been a style icon who women have strived to imitate over the years. With a style heavily influenced by European fashion, Jackie looked fabulous and put-together wherever she went. Full of poise, grace and beauty, she revolutionized women's wear in the 1950s and 60s.
  • Jackie had an extremely simple style and didn't wear much jewelry. However, when she did wear accessories, they were always a reflection of her personality and never too glitzy or gaudy. Along with her large-framed sunglasses, Jackie made the three-strand pearl necklace a signature trend that women still follow today.
  • There's one thing that every ensemble Jackie Kennedy ever wore had in common: She always kept it simple. This was a woman who understood that less is more. Her look was never cluttered or busy, and with every outfit she chose, she portrayed the message that you don't have to wear fancy clothes to be elegant.
  • No one wakes up looking the way she did, especially not when they are on vacation. There had to have been a method to her exquisite madness—if by madness we mean locating, and then donning, the perfect big—but not too big!—sunglasses, the loveliest wind-defying silk head scarf, the just-jaunty-enough basket bag, and always, always the flawless string of pearls.
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