As first lady of the United States, Jacqueline Lee Kennedy Onassis – born Bouvier – was a tour de force of style, grace and sophistication. And like her husband, John F. Kennedy, she brought a sense of youthfulness to the White House and would become arguably one of the most iconic faces of the 20th century. Take these 40 rare photographs, which offer tantalizing glimpses into what life was really like for one of America’s most inspiring leading ladies.
40. Her childhood dog
Jackie was only six years old when this photo was taken, but she was already showing signs of what would become a lifelong fondness for animals. The future first lady would have several pooch pals over the course of her 64 years, in fact. She hailed from an affluent background, having been born to Wall Street mogul John Vernou “Black Jack” Bouvier III and Janet Norton Lee, a Manhattan socialite. And Jackie therefore enjoyed many privileges in her early life, including taking ballet and learning French.
39. A young equestrienne
Jackie first rode a horse at barely a year old – an early introduction that was courtesy of her mother. And at the age of 11, she had already become a successful equestrienne, competing in a number of national championships and scoring a double victory in one. “Miss Bouvier achieved a rare distinction,” a 1940 New York Times story read. “The occasions are few when a young rider wins both [horsemanship] contests in the same show.”