It Seems Like Yesterday

JK

President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy made an official visit to London and Paris in the early summer of 1961, after JFK had been elected to office the previous November. 

As it turned out London and Paris belonged not to the president but to his wife, Jackie, who was only 31 years old at the time. The press could not get enough of her. It was on this trip that President Kennedy, when giving a speech a few days later, amused his audience and made history by saying, “I am the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris.”

My assignment the day this photograph was taken was to get a picture of Mrs. Kennedy for the next morning’s edition of the newspaper. I must have stood outside her sister Princess Lee Radziwill’s house for six or seven hours, for it was late in the afternoon when the First Lady stepped out to give the waiting photographers a picture. Smiling as she opened the door, she looked lovely in one of her signature pill box hats and crisp spring dress. She stood at the doorway for a few moments before she returned inside. 

When the Kennedys left London, I was sent to Paris for their triumphant visit with French President Charles de Gaulle. It was to be the last time I photographed the president, although over the years, I am pleased to have continued to photograph the iconic Mrs. Kennedy, who continues to fascinate the world today.