- Jackie Kennedy wore many hats: She was a mother, first lady of the United States, a successful editor, and an influential fashion icon.
- On what would have been her 91st birthday, Insider rounded up 20 rare photos of Kennedy.
- Images show her displaying her adventurous side to spending precious moments with her family.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
During her time in the White House, Jackie Kennedy often represented the United States, whether through her extensive restoration plan in Washington or travelling abroad. Her intelligence paired with her carefully curated fashion choices quickly transformed her into an influential public figure who left a lasting legacy.
After the assassination of her husband in 1963, Kennedy moved to Manhattan. In 1968, it was announced she would marry her longtime friend Aristotle Onassis. The announcement, which took the public by surprise, meant she would become known as “Jackie O.”
Kennedy’s birthday was July 28 – she would be 91 this year – so to celebrate her life of achievements and influence, Insider rounded up 20 photos that offer a glimpse into her incredible life.
During their engagement, John F. Kennedy and Jackie would vacation at the Kennedy compound, where she could showcase her athletic side …
CNN describes the Kennedy compound as a 6-acre waterfront property.
… as well as pose in front of the breathtaking view.
The couple vacationed on the compound in the summer before their September wedding, which was held in Rhode Island.
In 1960, John F. Kennedy was the Democratic presidential nominee, and Jackie was pregnant. She would support him by writing a weekly newsletter from home.
According to the JFK Library and The New York Times, to keep up an active role in the campaign, Kennedy would write a weekly column from home, titled “Campaign Wife,” which was distributed by the Democratic National Committee and aimed to appeal to women voters.
In January 1961, JFK was sworn in as president and Jackie Kennedy quickly became a public icon, but at home, she was still mum.
Kennedy is pictured holding her son, John, on her lap while her daughter, Caroline, stands nearby on Christmas morning in 1962.
According to the JFK Library, Kennedy once told a reporter, “If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do well matters very much.”
Alongside serving as first lady, Kennedy prioritised motherhood. She turned a porch on the third floor of the White House into a kindergarten for Caroline and 12 to 15 other children.
Kennedy was committed to restoring the White House, turning it into a reflection of American architectural and artistic history.
According to the JFK Library, Kennedy enlisted a large group of experts to help with the restoration and gather American art and furniture from all across the US.
But alongside her responsibilities as first lady, Kennedy never shied away from adventure, and even water skied alongside astronaut John Glenn in the Nantucket Sound.
Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth, and JFK regarded him as a national treasure. In 1962, JFK invited Glenn to vacation with the Kennedys in Hyannis Port, Cape Cod.
After her husband’s death, Kennedy began creating the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, and she also continued to travel the world.
She travelled with her family to the mountains of Cordoba, Argentina, in 1966. She is pictured riding horses with Dr. Jose A. Martinez de Hoz. Jr., president of the Argentine chamber of commerce.
According to the JFK Library, Kennedy spoke French, Spanish, and Italian, making her widely admired while travelling abroad.
Here, Kennedy and her hostess, the duchess of Alba, watch the Seville bullfights in Spain in 1966. During the event, Kennedy wore a traditional Spanish mantilla.
While in Seville, Kennedy was spotted giggling while watching a Flamenco concert with Princess Grace of Monaco and her husband, Prince Rainier.
Kennedy wore a traditional American suit, while Princess Grace wore an Andalusian dress. At the concert, the group also enjoyed a seafood and champagne lunch.
She also took her children on a ski trip to Gstaad, Switzerland, in 1966.
Kennedy and her children, John and Caroline, are pictured all bundled up in Gstaad, Switzerland.
Nine years later, the Kennedys still enjoyed family ski trips to Gstaad, where they could escape the spotlight and hit the slopes.
The family is pictured unloading their car in January 1975.
Skiing was another way for Kennedy to showcase her chic fashion choices, as well as a chance to have some fun.
Kennedy was a fashion icon, no matter the season or occasion.
In 1968, Kennedy spent a week in Mexico visiting sites and touring the ruins of Mayan civilizations.
Kennedy spent time on a tour accompanied by a group of young women.
In 1970, Kennedy visited Israel and toured the holy city of Jerusalem. Eight years later, Kennedy would return to visit the Yad Kennedy Memorial and the John F. Kennedy Peace Forest.
Yad Kennedy is a memorial honouring John F. Kennedy. According to Architectuul, the memorial is designed to symbolise a tree stump, representing the idea that his life was cut too short.
After leaving the White House, Kennedy moved back to New York City.
Kennedy was always connected to New York. She was born in Southhampton, New York, and attended Vassar College, a prestigious college in Poughkeepsie, New York.
Five years after JFK’s death, Kennedy married the Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis. Here, she is pictured swimming off the Greek island of Skorpios, which he owned.
According to Britannica, Greece quickly became a popular destination for Kennedy to escape the tabloids and paparazzi that frequently followed her around New York City.
Onassis and Kennedy wed on the island of Skorpios, followed by a lively Mediterranean vacation filled with ocean swims, boating, and relaxation.
According to The Washington Post, when the wedding was announced, the public was stunned.
Her second husband passed away in 1975.
Back in New York City in 1970, Kennedy kept her adventurous spirit alive while biking through Central Park. She also worked as a magazine editor in the city.
She worked as an editor at Viking Press in New York City and later as a senior editor at the publishing company Doubleday.
She is pictured riding her bike in Central Park. The Central Park Reservoir was renamed in 1994 to the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir.
Kennedy’s commitment to being a mother, her work to protect her country’s heritage, and her fantastic style left a lasting legacy on American culture.
Viewed as an elegant fashion icon, nearly every outfit Kennedy wore was photographed – even when she just went to walk her dog through her New York City neighbourhood.
After battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Kennedy passed away on May 19, 1994, aged just 64. She was laid to rest beside President Kennedy in Arlington National Cemetery.
- Read more:
- 13 things you may not know about former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
- 13 iconic outfits former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis wore
- 9 times celebrities took fashion inspiration from former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
- The full relationship timeline of John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy