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20 October 2011

On this day in history: Jackie Kennedy married Aristotle Onassis, 1968

Jacqueline Lee Bouvier married Senator John Fitzgerald Kennedy in September 1953. In 1961, JFK became president and Jackie Kennedy, his glamorous first lady. Ten years after their marriage, he was assassinated and five years later, in 1968, John's brother, Bobby, suffered the same fate.

Jackie suspected that the enemies of the Kennedys were targeting members of the family. Fearing for the safety of her children she decided to leave the United States. This may go some way to explaining her marriage of convenience to the Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis.

The two married on 20th October 1968 in a ceremony held on his private island of Skorpios. The marriage suited both parties: Jackie gave Aristotle access to the world of celebrity; he provided her with the financial support and protection she felt she needed. The couple stayed married, despite often living apart, until Aristotle's death in 1975.

Jackie O (as she was then known) died on 19th May 1994. Robert D. McFadden's New York Times obituary for her is available on the newspaper's web-site.

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