Aristotle Onassis – An ideal type of a modern “Neanderthal” – Epilogue (c)

Alexander Onassis (1948-1973), the only son of Aristotle Onassis, in spite of his youth and his father’s many “gold coins”, during the brief time he lived as an “adult”, he demonstrated that he not only had a strong personality and a sharp mind, but that he also faced the everyday moments of his life, with fortitude, with pathos, with a lot of sensitivity and objectivity, contrary to his father and mentor (in a negative sense). One time, while Alexander was discussing his father’s marital relations with Jackie Kennedy, he said the following:”…My father loves names (the famous and the powerful) and Jackie loves money…” (p. 1.

As we have already mentioned in the first parts of our article, Onassis had had close social relations with the Kennedy family since the 1930s, starting with the patriarch of the Kennedy Clan, Joseph P. Kennedy (1888-1969), who was both a powerful politician and entrepreneur in the United States of America. At the beginning of the 1960s, this association with the Kennedys became even more critical for Onassis, since he was being persecuted by the American Justice Department as well as by the powerful American Oil interest Groups. This type of legal “witch hunting” began the moment that Onassis was successful in signing “exclusive contracts” with Saudi Arabia’s Royal Family for thetransportation of Saudi oil to the four corners of the world. In order therefore to improve his relations with the political and the financial establishment of the United States, Onassis made even greater efforts to get closer to the Kennedy clan, especially closer to the President’s wife, Jackie Kennedy, and her younger sister, Caroline Lee Bouvier, who in the past had been Onassis’s “sex partner”.

The first great opportunity for Onassis came during the summer of 1963, when Jackie had lost her newborn child Patrick , a week after his birth. Onassis invited Jackie and her younger sister, to take a long cruise in the Mediterranean aboard his luxurious yacht “Christina”. Jackie and her sister Caroline Lee finally accepted this “generous offer” and went on a Mediterranean cruise with Aristotle Onassis.”…She and her sister, Lee Radziwill (Caroline), took up Onassis’s offer to take them on a cruise and let her grieve while being out of the public eye. It was on this vacation that Onassis realized how important it was that he get in good with the Kennedys, because ever since he had been indicted in the U.S., he had been unable to do any business with the American government. He thought that if he became friends with the Kennedys, he would be able to start up trading with the U.S. again…” ( p.2. When John F. Kennedy (1917-1963), the President of the United States, was murdered in November of 1963, Aristotle Onassis received a personal invitation to attend the President’s funeral as well as stay at the White House (p.6.

When John F. Kennedy died in 1963, Aristotle Onassis remained a close friend of the Kennedy family, especially with Jackie Kennedy as well as with Bobby Kennedy, the younger brother of the deceased President of the United States. With the killing of Bobby Kennedy in June of 1968, Onassis came to believe that any future opportunities (financial and public relations) with them had vanished “there and then”, but luck had “a mind of its own”. Jackie was terrified and knew very well, that her children, Caroline Kennedy (1957- ) and John Junior Kennedy (1960-1999), would be the next “killing targets” for the very powerful enemies of the Kennedy Clan. The fact that at that very crucial moment, Jackie asked for the support of and finally married Aristotle Onassis in October of 1968, wasn’t only for financial reasons, knowing full well that Onassis had a vast fortune and that he also had the habit of spending large amounts of money on women who could make him famous the world over(insecurities and self-centredness), but it also had to do with her own private security and the security of her children. What this meant was that she and her children had to live far from the Kennedy Clan and even farther from the United States of America. During this critical period, while Jackie was confiding her fears to her intimate friends she said the following:”…I hate this country. I despise America and I don’t want my children to live here anymore. If they are killing the Kennedys, my children are number one targets. I want to get out of this country…” (p.7. AandEsAvenue/Jackie.html).

Jackie Kennedy and Aristotle Onassis had many qualities or attributes in common. They were both “clever”, ambitious, licentious, money-loving, amoral, materialistic, narcissistic, ruthless, and they both loved to be at the spotlight of “high society” while also passing off to the “simple folk” the image of the “charismatic ordinary person”. The marriage between Jackie and Onassis was an “opportunistic legal arrangement” which served the personal interests of both parties, because their commitments were more of a “bureaucratic” nature than an “emotional” one; allowing both all the freedoms to continue living exactly as they wished.”…They made an arrangement: he would marry her and give her and her children the protection she craved for, and she would be his “trophy wife”, someone to show off at parties to his business associates…” (p.2 Aristotle%2520Onassis). A month after their marriage, Aristotle Onassis went to Paris “to make up” with Maria Callas (p.2., while Jackie Kennedy Onassis, after “a short space of time”, rejoined her old “male companions” in New York. Aristotle Onassis wanting to clarify his position and the criteria on which his marriage relations with Jackie were based,made the following official statement to the press: “…Jackie is a little bird that needs its freedom as well as its security, and she gets them both from me…She can do exactly as she pleases- visit international fashion shows and travel and go out with friends to the theatre or anyplace. And I of course, will do exactly as I please. I never question her and she never questions me… “( When Aristotle Onassis married Jackie Kennedy in 1968, he was 62 years old and Jackie was 39, which means that there was an age-difference of 23 years!!!!

Both Jackie Kennedy and Aristotle Onassis functioned like “predators” throughout their lives. Both “adored” money, power and self-exposure, while all their moves and practices within their social and personal lives had as “focal points” these “one-dimensional” and “shallow” fixations. On the one hand, Onassis grew up in a wealthy Greek family from Asia Minor, whose members had for many generations been very powerful tobacco merchants, while on the other hand, Jackie had parents who came from the “American Establishment” of finance and commerce, but who nevertheless were not considered “first rate”, because they were Christian Catholics and not Protestants.

In 1940, when Jackie was only 10 years old, her mother, Janet Norton Lee (1907-1989), a Catholic but someone whose family was very wealthy, divorced Jackie’s father, John Vernou Bouvier III (1891-1957), also a Catholic and a stockbroker by profession. The legal argument for the divorce was the husband’s many extra-marital relations and his alcoholism, but the real reason was the dire financial situation of the family due to John’s many bad investments and debts (p. 2. Jackie’s mother, who was a very “attractive woman” and a “socialite” due to her wealthy family background, soon(in 1942) married Hugh D. Auchincloss (1897-1976), a famous Washington lawyer, but more importantly heir to “Standard Oil”, one of the most powerful American Oil Companies in the world (p.1 Jacqueline_Kennedy_Onassis).

For Jackie Kennedy and her younger sister, Caroline Lee Bouvier (1939-    ), the ambitious and strategic moves of their mother, as well as her strict advice concerning “social mobility” and “material affluence” lead these two women to lives of “riches and glory”, but at a “high price”. The price was their “personal freedom”, their “self-dignity” and their “self-reliance”. Their mother’s “formula” was simple but effective, “social climbing” and “wealth accumulation” through “the right choice” of husbands and sexual partners. All this life set-up reminds me of something!!! Their mother, Janet Lee Norton, by marrying the very wealthy and the very famous Hugh D. Auchincloss, and by having two children with him, Janet Jennings Auchincloss (1945-1985) and James Lee Auchincloss (1947- ), ensured that her daughters had the financial and social means to “make good” as “women” in a world controlled by powerful “Neanderthal men like Aristotle Onassis, Joseph P. Kennedy the elder, Warren Buffett, Silvio Berlusconi, George Soros, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and so many others unfortunately!!! American writer Jan Pottker who wrote a biographical book concerning the relations between Jackie and her mother, makes the following points in the prologue of the text, explaining that,”…Jackie’s mother, Janet- the greatest influence on Jackie, more important to her character than any of the men in her life who came and went-was there for a full sixty years, from Jackie’s birth till Janet’s death… So, for sixty of the sixty-five years that would be allotted to Jackie, Janet Auchincloss was her daughter’s permanent anchor and lifelong guiding spirit…” (p.1.

The younger sister of Jackie, Caroline Lee Bouvier, who was born in March of 1933, which means she was 3 years younger than Jackie, had married 3 times. In 1953, she married Michael Temple Canfield (1897-1986), president of one of the biggest publishing houses in the United States, and some believe he was the illegitimate son of Prince George , Duke of Kent (1902-1942), the youngest son of King George V of Great Britain (1865-1936). In 1959, she married the very wealthy Polish Prince, Stanislaw Albrecht Radziwill (1914-1976), and in 1988, she married the famous Hollywood producer, Herbert Ross (1927-2001), whom she divorced in 2001. The “life and style” magazine “Elle Decor”, in its April issue of 2009, devoted many photographs and pages of commentaries, revealing to the public the two luxurious houses owned by Lee Caroline Bouvier, one in Paris and the other one in Manhattan, New York (p.12.

As we already know, Jackie married John F. Kennedy in 1953, son of Joseph P. Kennedy, one of the most powerful entrepreneurs and politicians in the United States during the 20th century. After her husband’s killing in 1969, Jackie made the “clever choice” of remaining “under the protective umbrella”(financial, social, political) and the “loving care” of the very powerful Kennedy Clan, to the point that she accepted to enter into a “sexual relationship” with her husband’s younger brother, Bobby Kennedy (1925-1968), 6 months after John F. Kennedy had been murdered. Bobby Kennedy was then married to Ethel Skakel Kennedy (1928- ) and they had 10 children together; both being “devout” Catholics and Christians. Bobby Kennedy never divorced his wife, while he continued this “love relationship” with Jackie until the day he was murdered in June of 1968. In 2009, David Heymann wrote a biographical book called “Bobby and Jackie: A Love Story”, where he discusses this “taboo relationship” by including “…recollections of this steamy affair from a host of other Kennedy family intimates, including Pierre Salinger, Arthur Schlesinger, Jack Newfield, Gore Vidal, Truman Capote and Morton Downey Jr. …” (p.1. news/national/item_vUuGxPY7ZwSCuJiY…).

When in October of 1974, the doctors diagnosed that Aristotle Onassis was suffering from a “rare” but “fatal” muscular disease called “gravis”, Jackie put him in the American Hospital in Paris and left for New York, explaining that she had very important “business obligations” to tend to there. While Jackie was having “the time of her life” in New York, Christina was everyday at her father’s bedside”… In 1975, Aristotle Onassis, the world’s richest man, died in a Paris hospital with his daughter Christina by his side. His mistress (Maria Callas) had fled the hospital because of all the photographers, and his wife was in New York giving a party for her daughter Caroline…” (p.2.

When Aristotle Onassis, the “world’s richest man”, died in March of 1975 in Paris, he was taken to Greece to be buried there, and more exactly to be buried on his own private island “Scorpios”. In the funeral there were thousands of ordinary greek people as well as many powerful “money people” from all over the world. “Naturally”, Jackie also arrived from New York to attend the funeral of her “loving husband” , escorted by the youngest brother of John F. Kennedy. Edward Kennedy (1932-2009), former brother-in-law of Jackie, a powerful American Senator and “patriarch” of one of the most influential families in the United States, did not go to the funeral to console Jackie in her “hour of grief” or to pay his last respects to a “deceased friend”; he was there to act as mediator for his former sister-in-law in order to resolve how much money or how many “gold coins” Jackie would receive from her husband’s estate(p.3. They both knew that they had to do a lot of “haggling” for some of the “gold coins” of Aristotle Onassis, because this “cunning” mid-oriental merchant, knowing full well Jackie’s “predatory” tendencies, was able to pressure Greece’s parliamentarians to pass a law which would disallow a non-greek national to receive 25% of her Greek husband’s estate in case of death, as was legally rightful for any Greek widow (

It is worth looking into how modern prototypes of “Neanderthals” behave, whatever their nationality or colour, through a description of a particular scene in Onassis’s funeral, where in the same car during the long motorcade to the cemetery, we find Jackie Kennedy, Edward Kennedy and Christina Onassis together. Christina at the time, is a 25 year-old young woman who feels completely shattered by her father’s early death (he was 69). At this very difficult moment for Christina, Jackie with the “support” of her former brother-in-law, American Senator Edward Kennedy, decided that it was an “opportune time” to put pressure on the “legitimate heiress” of the enormous fortune of Onassis, in order that Christina would give in to Jackie’s “money demands”. There is nothing “sacred” for these “scavengers” of human society.”…In the car going to the grave, Jackie and her former brother-in-law, Teddy Kennedy, began to harass Christina about the will, and the necessity of probating it as quickly as possible. Horrified, Christina stopped the motorcade and leapt from the car, driving the rest of the distance with her blood family…” (p.4. Society_Divas/Christina_onassis_a.htm).

After 2 years of negotiations, court battles and pressure, especially from the Kennedy Clan and more particularly from the “patriarch” of the Clan, Edward Kennedy, Christina Onassis accepted to pay Jackie Kennedy 26 million american dollars with the agreement that Jackie would not put forward any more claims on the estate of Aristotle Onassis(p.8. Jacqueline_Kennedy_Onassis). The amount of 26 million american dollars which Jackie received as “compensation” in 1977, in today’s prices would amount to approximately 150 million american dollars. Not a bad deal !!!! When in May of 1994, Jackie Kennedy Onassis died of cancer, she was only 64 years old, while in her will she left all her estate to her two children, Caroline Kennedy and John Junior Kennedy. The value of her estate was estimated to be at that time, 200 million american dollars, which means lots and lots of “gold coins” (p.10 Jacqueline_Kennedy_Onassis).

Finally, I would like to clarify that only at the last moment, I decided to dedicate a whole section of my Epilogue to Jackie, not because she was Onassis’s last wife and the wife of the President of the United States, but because her personality was “tremendously similar” to that of Aristotle Onassis.

Jackie Kennedy Onassis was simply the ideal “female” model of a modern “Neanderthal”. Naturally, in the next and final section of our Epilogue on Aristotle Onassis, we shall talk about his children, Alexander and Christina, and of course about his granddaughter Athina Onassis.

There is a very old and wise popular saying from Asia Minor which I think fits very well with our “grey story” as well as with today’s human “identity crisis” and “arrogance”. This simple saying says the following: ” Human beings contrive and the Gods roar with laughter!!!!”.