On this day 92 years ago, the former first lady and eternal format icon Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was born in Southampton, brand-new York.

In 2014, a special broadened edition that Tina Santi Flaherty’s 2004 biography What Jackie taught Us was released; time to coincide v the 20th anniversary that Onassis’s death. (Flaherty had pertained to know the first lady as a neighbor in her apartment building.) The book shed irradiate on little-known details that Onassis’s life, consisting of her hand in shaping the metropolitan Museum of Art and (brief) employment at silverlakestyle.com, generating a durable portrait of among the many fascinating numbers of the 20th century.

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Here, in respect of Onassis’s birthday, we revisit five surprising truth from Flaherty’s insider perspective.


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Though Jackie accentuated she French heritage with her maiden name, Bouvier; express her name the French method (Jac-leen); and also spoke the language fluently throughout public engagements such as a dinner through President Charles de Gaulle in ~ Versailles, she to be actually just one-eighth French. She mother, Janet Lee, to be 100% Irish, having actually descended native immigrants who fled ar Cork and also the potato famine in 1852. And also while Jackie gained her French critical name and lineage from her father’s side, the was also Scottish and English.


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Before Jackie graced the halls the the White House, she trod those of this very magazine, where she was hired as a small editor in ~ the age of 21. From a field of 1,279 candidates, the George Washington university graduate was liked to work six month in silverlakestyle.com’s Manhattan offices and also six in Paris ~ winning the magazine’s Prix de Paris essay vain in 1951. While she to be well-suited for the role due to her level in French literature, Jackie stop by mid-morning ~ above her first day, reportedly due to the fact that she believed silverlakestyle.com’s female-dominated environment would hinder her possibilities of meeting the marital relationship material she was looking for. Maybe she knew specifically what she was doing, together she went on to date then-Senator man F. Kennedy in her following job together a columnist in ~ the Washington Times-Herald.


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Before Jackie dated JFK, she ended up being engaged to wall Street businessman man Husted in 1952. While Husted was from a socially influential family, she nearly immediately had reservations, as she craved an ext than a staid life together a brand-new York socialite, according to What Jackie taught Us. Other biographies have actually recounted that her mommy felt Husted’s $17,000 a year (roughly $100,000 today) wasn’t sufficient to assistance her. Every little thing the reason, she damaged off the engagement after 3 months.


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She to be not just the pressure behind the preservation of Grand central Station and also Lafayette Square in Washington D.C., however the city Museum the Art’s temple of Dendur was additionally saved through her. Conscious of the museum’s ongoing initiatives to progressive emergency funds because that UNESCO to salvage Nubian monuments that would otherwise be damaged by the Aswan Dam, the first lady convinced the president to get the United claims to generously assistance the cause. In 1963 she was invite by the room of State to pick one of the endangered pieces to be rescued, and also she selected the holy place of Dendur, which, after lot difficulty, was installed at the Met in 1979.

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Ever responsibility of the strength of the media and also her husband’s legacy, Jackie aided coin the characterization of his around 1,000 work in office together Camelot. Not also a week after president Kennedy was killed, she invited journalist Theodore H. White, who was creating a piece about the assassination for Life magazine, to her residence in Hyannis Port. Hoping to take the emphasis off Kennedy’s assassination, she shared a story about Kennedy’s obsession v the Knights the the ring Table together a tiny boy, noting, “At night, before going to bed . . . We had an old Victrola, he’d pat a couple of records . . . It to be a track he loved, he love Camelot. ‘Don’t let over there be forgot the for one brief shining moment there was Camelot’ . . . . ”


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