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20 October 2009

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.

Related posts
John F. Kennedy inaugurated as President: 20th January 1961
Bobby Kennedy assassinated: 5th June 1968
Nixon won presidential election: 5th November 1968


Joanne Olivieri said...

I could definitely understand why she thought the Kennedy's were targets but I did not know that's why she left the US. Great article and info.

Evelyn said...

My mother once told me that his marriage to Jackie was devastating to renowned opera star, Maria Callas.

I've never liked either one of them (Jackie or Onassis) ever since. I was very little when she told me that but I've never forgotten it.

The strange things we hold on to!

Borkiman said...

Thank you both for the comments.