The extensive media coverage of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy also showcases Jackie Kennedy front and center as Camelot’s crown jewel. Fashion trend-setter, charmer of world leaders, restorer of the White House’s historic treasure, she is credited as the meticulous architect—down to the gravesite eternal light — of her husband’s funeral and legacy.
Just a week before the former first lady — then Jackie Onassis — died in 1994, I was racing along East 83rd Street to a reception hosted by Israel’s consul general Gad Yaacobi for his predecessor Uriel Savir when I heard a staccato click, click, click behind me. Crouching between parked cars, a bearded man with a telephoto lens the size of a bazooka was shooting away at something across the street. Following the trajectory, I spotted Jackie Onassis. Wearing light-tinted sunglasses, a stylish babushka and a belted ankle length camel hair coat she was holding onto the arm of her longtime friend Maurice Tempelsman. Both were smiling, their eyes straight ahead, the two walked slowly pretending not to see the photographer.