“I am a woman above everything else.”
By Laurie Bogart Wiles
SHE WAS ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS women of the 20th century, arguably the most fashionable outside of Hollywood. A woman of supreme style, grace, calmness, and composure, she was America’s original princess. And yet, she wore a mask, always struggling to shield herself from a peering world, wrapping herself in privacy like a cloak on a frigid winter’s day, and endure the relentless limelight that shone upon her throughout her entire life. Her premature death at the age of 64 elevated her to the status of legend. Reams have been written about her. Countless photographs have been taken and miles of film. But the one thing she coveted more than anything was privacy—and it was the one thing that Jackie, who had all the money in the world, could not buy.
THE EVENTS OF HER LIFE are well-chronicled. Jacqueline Lee Bouvier was born in Southampton, New York, the summer playground of “old money” families, on July 28, three months before the Stock Market Crash of 1929. Her father was a handsome, debonair Wall Street stockbroker named John “Black Jack” Vernou Bouvier III, and her mother was American socialite and amateur equestrian champion Janet Norton Lee Auchincloss. Janet came from a life of privilege. Her father was the enormously wealthy lawyer, real estate broker and banker, James Thomas Aloysius Lee, himself the son of a successful attorney.