Paul De Angelis
I was born in Athens, Greece, and grew up in Italy, Brazil, and the suburban Maryland area outside Washington DC during the Eisenhower and Kennedy eras, I now live in Connecticut’s northwest corner. In New York City I worked as an editor, editorial director, and editor-in-chief at such publishing companies as St. Martin’s Press, E.P. Dutton, and Kodansha America. Since relocating to the country in 1995 I have worked as an independent editor on a wide range of commercially- and independently-published books; as the literary agent for the writer/artist Leonora Carrington (since 2011 for her estate); and on occasion as a translator from the German with my wife Elisabeth Kaestner. In more recent  years I have written extensively for and managed community publications, first in the mid-Hudson Valley, and more recently in rural Connecticut.


Jay Mulvaney, the author of Kennedy Weddings and Diana and Jackie and an Emmy award–winning television writer and producer, was once an office boy for Senator Edward M. Kennedy. During a decade of writing books about the Kennedy family, he became acquainted with the collection of condolence mail held in the JFK Library in Boston. In 2007 he had the idea to bring together a selection of the very best of these letters into a book that would illuminate both Jack and Jacqueline Kennedy from the perspective of intense shock and grief. In a cruel twist of fate, Jay died unexpectedly in the spring of 2008, shortly after signing up the book and completing an initial selection of several thousand letters.

More About Dear Mrs. Kennedy

The World Shares Its Grief, Letters November 1963

Jay Mulvaney and Paul De Angelis

Jacqueline Kennedy and her children leave the White House for the funeral. Behind her is Robert Kennedy, flanked by Eunice Kennedy, and in the distance behind them can be seen brother-in-law Peter Lawford. (Abbie Rowe, White House, JFK Library).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.

Published by St. Martin’s Press 2010.

Volunteers reading and sorting condolence letters. Nancy Tuckerman is standing at the back of office, leaning on the desk, with her face turned slightly towards the camera. Jacqueline Kennedy’s office in the Executive Office Building, December 11, 1963. (JFK Library)  Sixteen-year-old Bill Clinton shaking hands with JFK in the Rose Garden, July 24, 1963; Clinton was in Washington as a delegate from Arkansas to the Boys Nation Convention. (Arnie Sachs/Polaris)