It was shortly after her husband's death that Jacqueline Kennedy first attributed the word “Camelot” — that imaginative and sentimental moniker often characterizing the hope of the early '60s — to President John F. Kennedy’s brief term in office.
“There will be great presidents again, but there will never be another Camelot,” she told interviewer Theodore H. White on Nov. 29, 1963, just a week after the assassination. Jacqueline Kennedy was “obsessed,” according to Kennedy research publication JFK Lancer, over her husband’s legacy and with the desire that he be heroically enshrined in the public consciousness.
But the idea of Camelot often more personally depicts the Kennedys’ relationship, family and their public persona: attractive, optimistic, sexy, smart and enviable all rolled into one.
The John F. Kennedy presidential library and museum details their lives together:
The Kennedys met in the early 1950s when she worked as a columnist and photographer for the Washington Times-Herald newspaper. They married on Sept. 12, 1953, in Newport, R.I. Their first child, Caroline, was born in 1957.
During Kennedy’s 1960 presidential bid, Jacqueline accompanied her husband on campaign trips. But after learning she was pregnant with their second child, she remained home and answered voters’ letters, taped TV commercials and wrote a column called “Campaign Wife.” Two and a half weeks after Kennedy beat Richard Nixon in November, the couple welcomed their second child, John Jr. When Kennedy was inaugurated, Jacqueline was 31.
Tragedy struck the family on Aug. 9, 1963, when their third child, Patrick, died from a lung ailment at just two days old. Three and a half months later, President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. He was 46.
Jacqueline Kennedy married shipping mogul Aristotle Onassis in 1968, and after his death in 1975, she returned to a writing and editing career. She died on May 19, 1994, and is buried beside President Kennedy in Arlington National Cemetery.