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Jackie Kennedy Remained Graceful in Final Days

Jackie Kennedy Remained Graceful in Final Days


Airdate: 05/16/2014

This iconic photograph truly captured the magic and mystique of the one and only Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Legendary lensman Ron Galella shared his favorite Jackie photos with INSIDE EDITION when we caught up with him at the launch of his first ever digital gallery at Row NYC hotel in Time Square.

"My windblown Jackie was my greatest picture," said Galella. "I was obsessed with her, but I think the whole world is obsessed with her!"

That remains true to this day.

It's hard to believe the woman who was widowed by both a president and a billionaire shipping tycoon died twenty years ago, at age 64. Her beloved son, John F. Kennedy Jr. broke the news to the world, stating, "My mother passed on. She was surrounded by her friends, and her family and her books, and the people and things that she loved."

For thirty years, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis lived on the fifteenth floor of a spectacular Fifth Avenue apartment building in New York City. Now, we're learning more about her brave final days.

Tina Cassidy is the author of Jackie After O, which sheds light on Jackie's life after she was widowed for a second time.

Cassidy told INSIDE EDITION, "When she became ill herself, it was very clear she was going to die gracefully."

See What Else Cassidy Told INSIDE EDITION

Cassidy said, "She made it a routine to jog around the Central Park Reservoir, which was renamed the Jacqueline Onassis Reservoir shortly after her death."

But Jackie also had some less-than-healthy habits.

"She smoked and bit her nails, especially when she was nervous or upset," noted Cassidy.

And when Jackie was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, the last great love of her life stepped up, diamond merchant Maurice Tempelsman.

"Maurice Tempelsman was really quite different from JFK and Aristotle Onassis. He was much more low-key," said Cassidy. "They developed a relationship and became quite close. They moved in together in the 80s and he was with her through her illness."

Tempelsman took Jackie for walks in her beloved Central Park and faithfully brought her to doctors' appointments at the hospital.

"She was quite weak at the end, and would rely on him physically to get her from point A to point B. Basically he'd just hold her hand and be there for her. They really adored each other very much," noted Cassidy.

And so, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis will always be remembered for the way she lived and the way she died.

Cassidy explained, "She refused to die hooked up to machines in the hospital. She wanted to die in her own home in a very dignified way."

John Jr. said at her passing, "She did it her own way, and on her own terms, and we all feel lucky for that."


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