The Early Years
|Soon, Jackie could be seen at Broadway plays and fine restaurants or gracing the streets of Paris and the beaches of Greece. Stewarded by Lee, her socialite sister, Jackie became engaged in the philanthropic world of intellectuals and power-brokers. Her life began to glitter once more. Among these new friends was the richest man in the world – Aristotle Onassis. He was lavish, tolerant, comforting and adoring. Onassis was in a position to offer Jackie and her children protection and refuge from a world that had grown physically dangerous for the Kennedy’s.Jackie married Onassis on his private island of Skorpios with a ceremony attended by only a few people. The world’s press was furious with her, but Jackie did what she thought was best for her and her children.
Rose Kennedy knew the torture and consequences that Jackie suffered after the death of her son, Jackie’s husband, and said:
“It seems to me the first basic fact is that Jackie deserves a full life, a happy future.”
As it turned out, the marriage was a poor alliance. Jackie did not want to leave New York because she felt her children had been uprooted enough. She kept her apartment on Fifth Avenue while Aristotle constantly traveled and they only spent 141 days together their first year of marriage. While this arrangement seemingly satisfied the couple, a widening gulf between the Jackie and Onassis became outwardly apparent. After all, their interests were completely different and more often than not, they went their own ways. When Aristotle’s son, whom he adored above all else, died in a tragic plane crash, their marriage completely unraveled. Onassis was inconsolable and became deeply depressed with morbid obsessions. Soon afterwards, he developed a progressive muscular disease and then passed away in 1975. Jackie was a widow for a second time.
After mourning with the Onassis family, Jackie returned to New York to begin a new chapter in her life.