Often regarded as the most fashionable first lady in United States history, Jacqueline Kennedy has long been the subject of public fascination. From her iconic pink Chanel dress to her knack for interior design, her life seemed both enviable and tragic.
Yet, for as public as her life might have been for more than five decades, there are still many things that even the biggest fans don’t know about the former FLOTUS.
Here, we’ve gathered 20 fascinating facts about Jackie Kennedy that most people have never known…
1. She was not well-behaved as a child: In fact, her teachers claimed that, as a student at Chapin School in New York City, she was sweet—but also “full of the devil.” Her parents believed this was because she’d often finish her work before others and proceed to get bored and act out.
2. She assigned a friend from childhood to a role in the White House: After remaining friends since their grade-school years, Jackie gave her longtime friend, Nancy Tuckerman, the position of White House social secretary. She held this position until 1994, when Jackie passed away.
3. She was the Debutante of the Year: While Jackie did have a shy streak, she inevitably emerged onto the New York social scene. She was eventually awarded as Debutante of the Year by tabloid writer Igor Cassini.
4. She was an intern at Vogue magazine for one day: As a student at George Washington University, she landed a year-long internship at the fashion magazine. The editor of the publication, however, urged her to quit on her first day because she thought she was harming her prospect of getting married. She was just 22, but she accepted the advice and left for good.
5. She was an Inquiring Camera Girl: As a staff member at the Washington Times-Herald, Jackie went from a part-time receptionist to landing the coveted camera gig. Her role often asked that she take photos displaying the voice of the people.
6. She was engaged to a stockbroker before JFK: In 1952, Jackie was engaged to a stockbroker named John G. W. Husted, Jr. She later ended the engagement, claiming that he was boring and immature for his age.
7. She redecorated the White House to fit her interior design style: In fact, on just her first day in her new not-so-humble abode, Jackie spent about $50,000 to construct new rooms for her children and to upgrade the kitchen.
8. She visited the White House as a tourist before moving in: Long before she met and married JFK, Jackie visited the White House as a tourist with her family in 1941. Little did she know that she’d one day be FLOTUS!
9. She gave journalism another go in 1975: Jackie made a brief return to the publishing world as a consulting editor for the Viking Press. She later resigned after The New York Times falsely accused her of playing a role in the acquisition of Jeffrey Archer’s controversial book, Shall We Tell the President? Oddly, the novel featured a plot to kill Ted Kennedy.
10. She opened a school inside of the White House: One thing that greatly excited Jackie O. was education. After originally turning the entire third floor of the building into a nursery for her children, she made it into a kindergarten classroom.
11. She convinced Robert Kennedy to stay in politics: In the wake of her husband’s death, Jackie still influenced politics. In 1964, she convinced her brother-in-law, Robert Kennedy, to run for Senate. He was tragically killed just four years later.
12. She was the editor of Michael Jackson’s autobiography: As an associate editor at Doubleday, Jackie worked mostly in the autobiography department. There, she worked on books like Michael Jackson’s Moonwalk.
13. She gave Hillary Clinton advice: A supporter of the Clintons during the early ’90s, Jackie donated to Bill’s presidential campaign. She also gave Hillary some advice on raising children in the scope of the media while living in the White House.
14. She’s the only first lady to ever win an Emmy Award: In 1962, thanks to her penchant for redesigning the interior of the White House, Jackie was asked to give a tour of the building for CBS News. The segment was viewed by 56 million people in the U.S. and landed her an Emmy.
15. It took her a month to accept John F. Kennedy’s marriage proposal: Deciding to go on a trip in Europe to do some thinking after he’d popped the question, she returned 30 days later to accept.
16. She didn’t want to remove her pink suit after JFK’s assassination: The now-iconic pink Chanel suit became synonymous with that tragic day in American history. After the shooting, she refused to take it off even though it was covered in his blood. She wanted the public to see what had happened to her husband.
17. She modeled JFK’s funeral after Abraham Lincoln’s: Even though Robert Kennedy had hoped to have a closed casket service at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington D.C., Jackie decided to have an open casket. Furthermore, the procession was led on foot and saw her lighting his eternal flame.
18. She once appeared in Hustler magazine: When a paparazzi photographer captured photos of the first lady sunbathing in the nude in 1972, he went on to sell the pictures to a slew of European magazines. Within three years, the photos were published in Hustler.
19. She dated several men, including Winston Churchill’s son: Following the assassination of JFK, Jackie eventually went on to date other men. One of her suitors was Randolph Churchill, son of the famed U.K. Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
20. She once obtained a restraining order against a photographer: In 1972, photographer Ron Galella followed her around and took photos of her without her permission. The former first lady obtained a restraining order against him shortly after. This case, some say, created the paparazzi’s fascination with celebrities.
It’s incredible that, even though her life was so public, there’s still so much that no one knows about Jackie Kennedy.
Share these incredible facts about the former first lady with your friends below!