Bouvier was the elder daughter of Wall Street stockbroker John Vernou Bouvier III and socialite Janet Lee Bouvier. In November of that year, he was elected as a United States Senator from Massachusetts, and the couple married in 1953.In 1951, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in French literature from George Washington University and went on to work for the Washington Times-Herald as an inquiring photographer. They had four children, two of whom died in infancy.When her mother married Standard Oil heir Hugh Dudley Auchincloss, Jr., Bouvier and her sister did not attend the ceremony, because it was arranged quickly and travel was restricted due to World War II.
They traveled together during the campaign, trying to narrow the geographical gap between them that had persisted for the first five years of the marriage.
After his funeral, she and her children withdrew from public view.
She married Aristotle Onassis, one of the world's richest and most famous men, in 1968.
In her senior class yearbook, Bouvier was acknowledged for "her wit, her accomplishment as a horsewoman, and her unwillingness to become a housewife".
Jacqueline later hired her childhood friend Nancy Tuckerman to be her Social Secretary at the White House.