DEAR MRS. KENNEDY
The World Shares Its Grief, Letters November 1963
Jay Mulvaney and Paul De Angelis
In the weeks and months following the assassination of her husband, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy received over one million letters. The impact of President Kennedy’s death was so immense that people from every station in life wrote to her, sharing their feelings of sympathy, sorrow, and hope.
She received letters from political luminaries such as Charles De Gaulle and Martin Luther King, Jr. Hollywood stars like Lauren Bacall, Vivian Leigh, and Gene Kelly voiced their sympathy, as did foreign dignitaries including Queen Elizabeth II, the King and Queen of Greece, and the Prince of Monaco. Distinguished members of the arts and society—Ezra Pound, Noel Coward, Babe Paley, Langston Hughes, Oleg Cassini, Josephine Baker—offered their heartfelt condolences. And children, with the most heartbreaking sincerity, reached out to the First Lady to comfort her in her time of grief.
More than just a compendium of letters, Dear Mrs. Kennedy uses these many voices to tell the unforgettable story of those fateful four days in November, when the world was struck with shock and sadness. It vividly captures the months that followed, as a nation—and a family—attempted to rebuild.
Filled with emotion, patriotism, and insight, these letters present a poignant time capsule of one of the seminal events of the twentieth century: a diverse portrait, not only of the aftermath of the assassination, but of the Kennedy mystique that continues to captivate the world.
TPublished by St. Martin’s Press, 2010 (hardcover, $19.99).