JOHN P. MARQUAND
While studying abroad in Paris, a young Jackie reportedly lost her virginity to John P. Marquand, the son of a French novelist, in an elevator. Sister Lee told the girls’ mother Janet of the dalliance; Janet soon forbade Jackie from dating John based on his family’s net worth.
JOHN HUSTED JR.
Jackie’s first engagement was to John Husted Jr., a stockbroker she met after attending Vassar. The pair set a date for June of 1952, but at the couple’s engagement party, Janet learned that John made just $17,000 a year (about $160,000 in today’s money). “How did I not know this?” Jackie asked. “You tell me,” Janet countered.
Later, when Jackie took John to the airport, she simply slipped the engagement ring he’d given her off her finger and dropped it into his jacket pocket. “She was ice cold,” John would remember. “Like we never knew each other. “
JOHN F. KENNEDY
In the fall of 1953, Jackie married the handsome (and wealthy) Massachusetts senator John Fitzgerald Kennedy. As a politician, he was on the rise. However, as a husband, he left a good deal to be desired; Jackie had made her peace with the fact that JFK was going to be unfaithful to her, says Taraborrelli.
Together they had two children — Caroline and John Jr. — though life fell apart on Nov. 22, 1963, when JFK, then the 35th president of the United States, was assassinated during a parade in Dallas.
Jackie knew the notable architect before her husband’s death, but they began to grow closer in 1963, when she hired him to design JFK’s new tomb.
They had discussed marriage, but one day Jackie got a disturbing phone call from Jack. “There’s something I have to tell you,” he told her, according to Taraborrelli. “I’m in a little trouble. I think I’m … I’m … $650,000 in debt.” Jackie told Jack she was confident he would “figure things out,” sounding—as Jack would later recall it—”rather distant.” He closed by saying, “I love you, Jackie.” She simply whispered, “Goodbye for now, Jack.”
In the years after her husband’s assassination, a heartbroken Jackie turned to one of JFK‘s closest friends, former British ambassador David Ormsby Gore, a.k.a. Lord Harlech, for comfort. When the two traveled to Cambodia together in November 1967 in a highly publicized trip, there was much speculation that they were romantically involved.
But less than a year later, the former first lady married Aristotle Onassis, a Greek shipping magnate 23 years her senior, in a decision that surprised many. In a heart-wrenching letter that surfaced at an auction in 2017, Jackie wrote to Lord Harlech, revealing why she turned down his proposal of marriage — and decided to instead start her life anew with Onassis.
“If ever I can find some healing and some comfort — it has to be with somebody who is not part of all my world of past and pain,” she said. “I can find that now — if the world will let us.”
Though Lee also dated the shipping tycoon, when Aristotle Onassis invited Jackie to join him in Skorpios in 1967, she went — without telling her sister.
He swept her off her feet, just as he had done to Lee years earlier. If Lee crossed their minds, from all accounts, anyway, Jackie and Ari didn’t discuss her, according to Taraborrelli’s new book. By the time Jackie returned, she was clear that she wanted to explore at least the possibility of a future with Aristotle Onassis.
Lee learned about the couple’s pending nuptials from her ex, who called her to extend a personal invitation. Lee was angry and upset when she arrived in Greece in October 1968. However, when she laid eyes on her sister, Jackie was laughing. Lee tried to remember the last time she’d seen her sister truly happy.
In her unearthed letter to Lord Harlech, Jackie wrote that Aristotle was “lonely and wants to protect me from being lonely. And he is wise and kind. Only I can decide if he can, and I decided.”
With Maurice Tempelsman — a still-married, slightly overweight diamond merchant — Jackie seemed to have found that rarest of gems: a genuine soulmate to carry her through the final years of her life. With him she shared her family, her home, her conversation and her laughter. “With Maurice,” attorney Samuel Pisar, an old acquaintance of the couple, told PEOPLE, “everything slowed down. She was at peace with him.” The two met in the 1950s, when Maurice arranged a meeting between JFK and representatives of the South African diamond business.
When Jackie — emotionally battered by the difficult final years of her marriage to Aristotle Onassis, who died in 1975 — set out to create an independent life for herself in New York City, Maurice offered essential support where it mattered most: he helped ensure her financial security, delighted in her work as a book editor and gingerly took on the role of surrogate parent—and grandparent.
They were together for 12 years before her death in 1994; at her funeral, Maurice, who’d shuttled her to and from doctor’s appointments and remained at her side through her bout with cancer, gave a eulogy.