Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Quotes

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (1929-1994)

On the Steps of the Capitol Building, November 24, 1963
On the Steps of the Capitol Building, November 24, 1963. National Archive / Newsmakers / Getty Images

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (full name Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis and often called Jackie Kennedy when she was First Lady) brought a youthful elegance to the White House during her tenure there. Briefly a photographer before her marriage to John F. Kennedy, and an editor after she was widowed for the second time when Aristotle Onassis died, she was mother to John F. Kennedy, Jr., and Caroline Kennedy (Schlossberg).

Selected Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Quotations

• Even though people may be well known, they hold in their hearts the emotions of a simple person for the moments that are the most important of those we know on earth: birth, marriage and death.

• What is sad for women of my generation is that they weren't supposed to work if they had families. What were they going to do when the children are grown - watch the raindrops coming down the window pane?

• I want to live my life, not record it.

• An Editor becomes kind of your mother. You expect love and encouragement from an Editor. (while Editor at Doubleday)

• Being a reporter seems a ticket out to the world.

• When Harvard men say they have graduated from Radcliffe, then we've made it.

• If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do well matters very much.

• There are many little ways to enlarge your child's world. Love of books is the best of all.

• I'll be a wife and mother first, then First Lady.

• The one thing I do not want to be called is First Lady. It sounds like a saddle horse.

• Can anyone understand how it is to have lived in the White House and then, suddenly, to be living alone as the President's widow? (1974, in McCall's)

• Now, I think that I should have known that he was magic all along. I did know it - but I should have guessed that it would be too much to ask to grow old with and see our children grow up together. So now, he is a legend when he would have preferred to be a man.

• I always wanted to be some kind of writer or newspaper reporter. But after college... I did other things.

• I don't think there are any men who are faithful to their wives.

• The first time you marry for love, the second for money, and the third for companionship.

• There are two kinds of women: those who want power in the world, and those who want power in bed.

• I think the best thing I can do is to be a distraction. A husband lives and breathes his work all day long. If he comes home to more table thumping, how can the poor man ever relax?

• Being away from home gave me the chance to look at myself with a jaundiced eye. I learned not to be ashamed of a real hunger for knowledge, something I had always tried to hide, and I came home glad to start in here again with a love for Europe that I am afraid will never leave me.

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About These Quotes

Quote collection assembled by Jone Johnson Lewis. This is an informal collection assembled over many years. I regret that I am not be able to provide the original source if it is not listed with the quote.