Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Remembering Jacqueline Kennedy

by Madan G Singh

John F Kennedy was shot dead by a lone marksman on 1963. That is almost 50 years back, but the image of his wife Jacqueline Kennedy still lingers.

She was young, attractive and had set the fashion charts alive as the wife of the president. The death of Kennedy was a traumatic moment for her, but she charted a separate life later, which was not liked by many of her admirers.

Jackie was born in 1929. He father was a stock broker. Within a decade her parents separated and she had the misfortune of shuttling between the homes of her mother and father (now separated).

But she was a woman of character and did not allow this aspect of her parent's life to traumatize her as she finished college and obtained a degree from George Washington University in Washington.

There along with girls of her age she met a few of the younger senators and she dated John F Kennedy at that time. It was a whirlwind romance as they soon married in 1953. She was an ambitious lady and fully supported John Kennedy's bid for nomination for the US president.

He won the nomination and Jackie was by his side and his strongest supporter. But the extra marital affairs of John did put her off, but they had 2 children. It was rumored that John also had a fling with the famous actress Marilyn Monroe.

As the President's wife she charmed the American masses who loved her style in dress and fashion.

In fact she became a trend setter so much so that when John met Nikita Khrushchev at Vienna in 1961, it was she who was in the limelight. Kennedy's death jolted her and after her brother in law Robert was shot dead.

She was swayed by dread. She wanted to leave America and took a decision to marry the Greek tycoon Aristotle Onassis. This was not liked by the US masses who felt it to be a betrayal of John's legacy.

Jackie settled in Greece but Onassis died of heart complications in 1975. Earlier he was heartbroken after the death of his son in 1973. By then the two had drifted apart.

Jackie was a non Greek citizen and getting a share of the wealth of Onassis was difficult. She eventually settled for $26 million from the daughter of Onassis and migrated back to the USA. She died in 1994 of extreme cancer that had spread all over her body.

Where do we place Jackie now? It's not an easy answer though I for one can never fathom why she had to marry Onassis.

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