She was always told by her mother that the secret to a successful marriage was "money and power."
While growing up, Jackie Kennedy's mother, Janet Auchincloss, always told her and her sisters that the secret to a happy marriage always came from two things, the book Jackie, Janet and Lee by J. Randy Taraborrelli revealed.
According to Taraborrelli, it was in 1951, at one of their “Mother Daughter Teas,” a favorite tradition of shopping and gossip, that Janet asked her daughters: “Do you know what the secret to ‘Happily Ever After’ is?”
Before they could answer, she told them it was “Money and Power," according to PEOPLE.
“Jackie watched the way her mother comported herself which had to do with money being equated with power,” says Taraborrelli.
There was almost an instance when Jackie got married to another man, and almost didn't become the First Lady, but that changed the moment her mother found out how much her daughter's fiance made in a year.
The man whom Jackie got engaged to in the early 1950s was stockbroker John Husted Jr. She was very serious about him and was sure she would end up marrying him. Their engagement was announced by The New York Post in January 1952 and their wedding date was set for June the same year.
She even wrote a letter to Irish priest Father Leonard that she was “so terribly much in love – for the first time – and I want to get married. And I KNOW I will marry this boy. I don’t have to think and wonder – as I always have before – if they are the right one, how we’d get along etc."
“I just KNOW he is and it’s the deepest happiest feeling in the world,” she wrote, per The Irish Times.
However, when Janet found out that he made only $17,000 a year, she told her daughter, Jackie, to let him go—on the day of their engagement party. “Janet told her ‘That was less money than your father made when I married him,’” recalls Taraborrelli. “When Jackie asked her ‘How could I not know this?’ she answered, ‘You tell me.’"
So, in March, the engagement was called off. She ended her relationship with him by dropping the ring he gave her in Husted's coat pocket. “She was ice cold,” he recalled. “Like we never knew each other.”
“Jackie was not a mercenary person,” adds Taraborrelli. “Whenever she had to make one of those decisions, it was usually her mother behind it.”
Around the same time, Jackie met JFK. In 1952, they first connected at a dinner party thrown by Jackie's friend and fellow journalist Charles Bartlett. He was delighted when the two quickly grew fond of one another since he had wanted to introduce her to JFK. At the time, Jackie was working as a writer for the Washington Times-Herald.
"My brother really was smitten with her right from the very beginning when he first met her at dinner," John's youngest brother Ted Kennedy once claimed, according to America's Queen: The Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis by Sarah Bradford, as per nine.com.au.
Though not in a way one would expect, wrote author James Patterson in the biography of the two, John and Jackie were an instant match. There was nothing John "liked better than a challenge," and JFK saw the young journalist as a challenge. Jackie, meanwhile, was aware that the sexy politician would break her heart, but she determined that "such anguish would be worth the pain."
By the summer of 1953, the pair were engaged and the same year, on September 12, they were married. From then on, history was made. However, it is fascinating to know how Jackie almost had a different life, isn't it?
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