How they met
As the glamorous wife of President John F Kennedy, Jacqueline Lee Bouvier – as she was known before her wedding to JFK – remains one of America's most beloved First Ladies. Having established her credentials as a style icon while in the White House, Jackie's courage and dignity following the public assassination of her husband on November 22, 1963, won her admiration and respect across the world.
After moving with her children from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue into an apartment on New York's Fifth Avenue, the widow spent a year in mourning before returning to the public eye. During that time she was seen with a number of escorts, including Truman Capote. Then, following the death of Robert F Kennedy in June 1968, Jackie, Edward Kennedy and her children were invited as guests onboard the palatial yacht Christina by its millionaire owner Aristotle Onassis.
In October 1968 – five years after the death of her first husband – it was revealed that Jackie was engaged to marry wealthy Greek shipping magnate Aristotle. The bride's mother Mrs Hugh Auchincloss announced the news in New York with a brief statement that read: "My daughter, Mrs John F Kennedy, is planning to marry Mr Aristotle Onassis."
The betrothal came as a shock to many; the groom was 23 years older than his future wife and both had been married before. Hours after the announcement, Jackie, her children – Caroline, ten, and seven-year-old John Jr – and a party of eight took a plane from New York's Kennedy airport to Greece.
To celebrate his pending nuptials, Aristotle bought his bride-to-be an astonishing 40-carat Marquise Lesotho III diamond ring – sold at auction for $2.59 million in 1996.
On October 20, 1968, Jackie married 'Ari' in an intimate Greek Orthodox ceremony on Skorpios in the Ionian Sea – the island was owned by the billionaire shipping magnate. Among the guests were the bride's mother and her husband, two of President Kennedy's sisters and Jackie's children.
As a result of the marriage, the former First Lady lost the Secret Service protection entitled to her as a widow of an American president. She was also given a new name in the media – one by which she is arguably now best known – Jackie O.
Since the bride was already an established fashion icon, there was a great deal of interest in her dress. For her second nuptials, Jackie wore a lace-covered beige dress by Italian couturier Valentino. It became the fashion house's most successful couture piece ever.
After they were announced as husband and wife, the newlyweds made their way to Aristotle's famous yacht, where they celebrated with their friends and family.
As Mrs Onassis, Jacqueline divided her time between Skorpios Island and her husband's home in Paris with her children until Aristotle's death on March 15, 1975. Now just 46 years old and a widow for the second time, she returned to New York where she began to work as a book editor.
In 1993, Jackie was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and just two months before her 65th birthday, she sadly passed away in her sleep at home. Speaking of Jacqueline's death, John Kennedy Jr said: "My mother died surrounded by her friends and her family and her books, and the people and things she loved. She did it in her own way, and on her own terms, and we all feel lucky for that."
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