“People often forget that I was Jacqueline Lee Bouvier before being Mrs. Kennedy or Mrs. Onassis.”
Defined in the public eye by her two high-profile marriages, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis found herself facing a personal crossroads on the eve of 1975, a year of incredible growth and renaissance for her. Although 1975 was a trying time for Jackie—her marriage was crumbling and her husband’s health declining rapidly; both tragedy and scandal would strike—it was the year in which she rediscovered talents and passions she had set aside for her role as public wife. It was Jackie who approached the editor of the New Yorker with an article, and with the publication of her well received “Talk of the Town” piece in January 1975, Jackie kicked off a year of great activity and change, including:
• A high-profile role in the campaign to save the landmark status of Grand Central Station in New York City.
• The death of her second husband, Aristotle Onassis, the public speculation about his enormous estate, and Jackie’s tumultuous relationship with his daughter, Christina.
• Caroline Kennedy’s controversial time in London following her graduation from high school, and Jackie’s first brush with an empty nest after delaying John, Jr.’s leaving for boarding school as long as possible.
• Jackie’s pursuit of her first real career, and her first job in publishing in the editorial department of Viking Press (after being denied a position at Random House) and the political posts and job offers she turned down (chance to run for Senate for the State of New York; various ambassadorships).
• Intimate stories of her years before 1975, including a brief stint as an intern at Vogue, her meticulous detail to the restoration of the White House, JFK’s reaction to her massive over-spending on personal goods and how they influenced her in this one year that changed her life.
• The early stage of Jackie’s relationship with Maurice Tempelsman, the man who would be with her longer than either of her husbands, until her death, and what could have been the most meaningful romantic relationship of her life.
Through the lens of this remarkable year, these major changes in the life of one woman reflect a cultural shift taking place in which women began taking on larger roles in the community and in the workplace. Jackie After O takes a unique look at this time and at the life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis as she shook the world’s expectations and pursued her dreams in middle age.