politics

John and Jackie: The making of a power couple

By CNN Staff

Published October 9, 2020

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John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Jacqueline Lee Bouvier were introduced by mutual friends around 1951. She was working as a photographer at a newspaper.

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Before long, Jack and Jackie were on their way to becoming one of history's power couples. Here, the couple plays tennis in June 1953, three months before their wedding.

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"I think we just automatically thought they'd be good for each other. He was fun. He was very good looking. She was intelligent and fun to be with."

Martha Bartlett, Friend

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Both also hailed from influential East coast families. They married in Rhode Island in the century-old church of St. Mary's on September 12, 1953.

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Historians in CNN Original Series "First Ladies" say Jackie took four weeks to accept Jack's proposal.

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"She knew that he had the capacity to be unfaithful but decided that life with him was worth it and that she loved him," historian Sally Bedell Smith says in "First Ladies."

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As Jack's political career grew, so did their family. The couple, seen here at a 1958 St. Patrick's Day parade in Boston, welcomed daughter Caroline in 1957.

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Even before they reached the White House, the Kennedys were superstars. Here, Jack lends an ear to his wife during cocktail hour at a society gala at the Walford Astoria Hotel in 1960.

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Kennedy, campaigning for president, leans in to listen to Jackie in 1960. American voters fell in love with her taste and elegance.

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A newly elected President Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline at the White House with their two children, Caroline and John F. Kennedy Jr., in 1961.

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Escorted by President Kennedy, First Lady Jackie Kennedy departs for a 1962 trip to India and Pakistan. Her style inspired generations.

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President Kennedy, second right, and First Lady Jackie Kennedy attend the America's Cup race in 1962 in Rhode Island. Their glamorous style has become iconic.

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The Kennedys attend the premiere of "Mr. President" in September 1962. "I’ve always thought Jackie really loved Jack," friend Marie Ridder says in "First Ladies."

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President Kennedy and First Lady Jackie Kennedy are pictured with their children on Easter Sunday 1963 in Miami, Florida.

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In the White House, Jackie was one of JFK's trusted advisers. The couple is seen here in August 1963 with their children and family pets, just months before President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.

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CNN Original Series "First Ladies" returns Sunday, November 15 at 10 p.m. ET.

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