Jackie Kennedy's Dating History: From JFK to Aristotle

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis has always been associated with her first husband, JFK, and her second, Aristotle Onassis. However, the former First Lady had other partners that weren't as well known. Here's a look back at her dating history

01 of 07

John P. Marquand

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While studying abroad in Paris, a young Jackie reportedly lost her virginity to Marquand, the son of a French novelist, in an elevator. According to author J. Randy Taraborrelli, who wrote the 2018 book, Jackie, Janet & Lee, Jackie's sister Lee Radziwill revealed the secret to their mother, Janet Auchincloss, to "curry favor."

"Jackie, when she was a teenager, lost her virginity to somebody in Paris in an elevator," he told PEOPLE Now in January 2018. "It wasn't the most romantic experience, but it was a good one for her, and she was really happy that she had it."

The family matriarch soon forbade Jackie from dating Marquand based on his family's net worth.

02 of 07

John Husted Jr.


Jackie's first engagement was to John Husted Jr., a stockbroker she met after attending Vassar College. The pair set a date in June 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 reportedly asked, to which her mother countered, "You tell me."

Later, when Jackie took Husted 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," Husted recalled, according to Taraborrelli. "Like we never knew each other."

03 of 07

John F. Kennedy

National Archive/Newsmakers

After being introduced by a mutual friend in 1952, Jackie married John Fitzgerald Kennedy in the fall of 1953, a handsome (and wealthy) Massachusetts senator.

"My brother really was smitten with her right from the very beginning when he first met her at dinner," John's younger brother Ted Kennedy claimed in Sarah Bradford's 2000 book, America's Queen.

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, wrote Taraborelli in Jackie, Janet & Lee.

Although they had four children, only Caroline Kennedy and John F. Kennedy Jr. survived and left the hospital. Tragically, in 1956, Jackie gave birth to their stillborn daughter, Arabella, and the couple's fourth child, Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, died just 39 hours after birth.

Then life fell apart on Nov. 22, 1963, when JFK, then the 35th president of the United States, was assassinated during a parade in Dallas while Jackie was seated beside him in the car.

According to Taraborelli, Jackie was depressed following JFK's assassination. She reportedly confessed to feeling "bitter against God" in private letters to priest Joseph Leonard and asked questions of suicide to Father Richard McSorley, such as whether or not "God would separate her from her husband if she killed herself."

04 of 07

Jack Warnecke

7th Annual RFK Pro-Celebrity Tennis Tournament
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Jackie knew the notable architect before her husband's death, but they grew closer in 1963 when she hired him to design JFK's new tomb. They discussed marriage, but one day, Jackie got a disturbing phone call from Warnecke.

"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 Warnecke she was confident he would "figure things out," sounding — as Warnecke would later recall it — "rather distant." He closed by saying, "I love you, Jackie." She simply whispered, "Goodbye, for now, Jack."

05 of 07

Lord Harlech

Jackie Kennedy at The Plaza, New York
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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 on a highly publicized trip, there was much speculation 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 marriage proposal and decided to 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."

06 of 07

Aristotle Onassis

Aristotle and Jacqueline Onassis at Their Reception
Bettmann Archive

Though Jackie's sister Radziwill also dated the shipping tycoon, when 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 Radziwill years earlier. If Radziwill crossed their minds, from all accounts, Jackie and Onassis didn't discuss her, Taraborrelli wrote in his book. By the time Jackie returned, she was clear that she wanted to explore at least the possibility of a future with Onassis.

Radziwill learned about the couple's pending nuptials from her ex, who called her to extend a personal invitation. Radziwill was angry and upset when she arrived in Greece in October 1968. However, she saw her sister, Jackie, laughing. Radziwill tried to remember the last time she'd seen her sister truly happy.

In her unearthed letter to Lord Harlech, Jackie wrote that Onassis was "lonely" and wanted to protect her from loneliness.

"He is wise and kind. Only I can decide if he can, and I decided," Jackie wrote.

Thus, Jackie married Onassis on Oct. 20, 1968, becoming "Jackie O" and one of the richest and most glamorous women in the world. The marriage only lasted six and a half years when Onassis died on March 15, 1975, of respiratory failure. However, the couple had been having trouble in the months leading up to Onassis' death.

07 of 07

Maurice Tempelsman

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis And Maurice Tempelsman
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With Tempelsman — a still-married diamond merchant — Jackie seemed to have found that rarest of gems: a genuine soulmate to carry her through the final years of her life. She shared her family, her home, her conversation and her laughter with him.

"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 Onassis — set out to create an independent life in New York City, Tempelsman 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 May 1994. At her funeral, Tempelsman — who'd shuttled her to and from doctor's appointments and remained at her side through her bout with cancer — gave a eulogy.

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