November 22nd marks the 53rd anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. 53 years ago, a nation grieved for its leader, a family lost its father and Jackie Kennedy became a widow with two young children.
It would be impossible to name a single First Lady who epitomized class and grace under fire and tragedy as she did.
From standing tall in her blood stained suit directly from the Dallas assassination and the swearing in of Lyndon B. Johnson, to her strength before the world, holding the hands of her children, dressed in black at John F. Kennedy’s funeral.
The death of her husband marked the end of her reign as a First Lady, but not the end of her influence upon the world.
In August, 1968, a clever reporter caught Jacqueline Kennedy on board Aristotle Onassis’ yacht, along with her brother in law, Teddy Kennedy. http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-31872036
Ted Kennedy was there to negotiate for the marriage as she would lose the Kennedy trust fund and the pension from Jack’s Presidency.
When Jacqueline married Onassis, she became a world influencing fashion figure. Wherever she went, the press commented on her attire. People emulated her style. http://www.msn.com/en-us/entertainment/celebrity/19-iconic-images-of-when-jacqueline-kennedy-became-%e2%80%9cjackie-o%e2%80%9d/ss-AAjc0xn?li=BBnb7Kz
When she was widowed in 1975, she did not marry again, but returned to journalism as a consulting editor at Viking Press. http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2011/01/jackie-o-working-girl-201101
In the 70’s, as The Women’s Movement gathered momentum, the idea of a super wealthy woman working because she wanted to be in a career caused quite a stir.
She attended book openings and lent her grace and polish to the literary scene. Many saw a return of the young woman they had known before her famous marriages.
Her work gave her purpose and helped her through the losses she had sustained.
She later left Viking Press to join Doubleday as assistant editor.
In 1993, Jackie was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She informed her friends and colleagues of her condition. She continued to work as before, never complaining or missing any work until she was unable to perform her duties any longer.
She died as she had lived, with grace and style surrounded by family and friends in May of 1994.
It is safe to say that this one woman, upon whom much tragedy was visited, was a fine example of a very great lady. There are few who could be her equal.
Image: By Robert Knudsen, White House – John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston , Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7599097