Janet Lee Bouvier

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Janet Lee Bouvier
Born Janet Norton Lee
(1907-12-03)December 3, 1907
New York City, Manhattan, New York, U.S.
Died July 22, 1989(1989-07-22) (aged 81)
Newport, Rhode Island
Cause of death
Complications from Alzheimer's disease
Resting place
Common Burying Ground and Island Cemetery
Nationality American
Other names Janet Bouvier
Janet Auchincloss
Janet Lee Auchincloss Morris
Education Miss Spence's School
Alma mater Sweet Briar College
Vassar College
Occupation Socialite
Religion Roman Catholicism
Spouse(s) John Vernou Bouvier III (m. 1928; div. 1940)
Hugh D. Auchincloss (m. 1942; died 1976)
Bingham Morris (m. 1979)
Children Jacqueline Lee Bouvier
Caroline Lee Bouvier
Janet Jennings Auchincloss
James Lee Auchincloss
Relatives John F. Kennedy (son-in-law)

Janet Norton Lee Bouvier Auchincloss (December 3, 1907 – July 22, 1989) was an American socialite. She was the mother of former United States First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Lee Radziwill. She often stood in for her daughter Jacqueline as hostess for official White House functions. She was the mother-in-law of United States President John F. Kennedy.

Early life and family[edit]

Lee was born in Manhattan, the daughter of James Thomas Lee (October 2, 1877 – January 3, 1968) and Margaret A. Merritt (1879 – February 26, 1943), both of whom were the children of Irish immigrants.[1] James Lee was a lawyer and Lee's paternal grandfather, Dr. James Lee, was a superintendent of the New York City public school system, although Lee preferred to tell people that he was a Maryland-born veteran of the American Civil War. In fact he was born in New Jersey in 1852, and therefore too young to have served in that conflict. Lee had two sisters: Winifred Norton Lee (Mrs. Franklin d'Olier) and Marion Norton Lee (Mrs. John J. Ryan, Jr.).[2]

Lee was raised in Manhattan and East Hampton. She was educated at Miss Spence's School and later attended Sweet Briar College and Vassar College.[3]

Lee's former house in Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

Marriages and children[edit]

Lee was married three times. Her first husband was John Vernou "Black Jack" Bouvier III. They were married on July 7, 1928, and had two daughters: Jacqueline Lee "Jackie" Bouvier (July 28, 1929 – May 19, 1994) and Caroline Lee Bouvier (born March 3, 1933). Bouvier's womanizing and drinking led to a separation in 1936, a brief reconciliation for a few months in 1937, and then a divorce in 1940.[4]

Lee's second husband was Hugh Dudley Auchincloss, Jr., an attorney and Standard Oil heir; she was his third wife. They were married on June 21, 1942,[5] and had two children: Janet Jennings Auchincloss (1945–1985) and James Lee Auchincloss, born in 1947.[6]

Her third marriage, after Auchincloss' death, was to investment broker Bingham "Booch" Morris on October 25, 1979. Morris was a childhood friend.[7] Though they separated in 1981, they remained married until her death eight years later.


Lee died of complications arising from Alzheimer's disease on July 22, 1989 in Newport, Rhode Island at the age of 81.[3] Her funeral was held at the Trinity Church in Newport on July 28 and she is buried next to her second husband, Hugh D. Auchincloss, at the Common Burying Ground and Island Cemetery.[8][9]

Further reading[edit]

  • Janet and Jackie: The Story of a Mother and Her Daughter, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, by Jan Pottke.
  • "Obituary of James Thomas Lee", New York Times, January 4, 1968.


  1. ^ Pottker, Jan (2002). Janet and Jackie: The Story of a Mother and Her Daughter, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Macmillan. pp. 14, 16. ISBN 0-312-30281-9. 
  2. ^ Davis, John H. (1969). The Bouviers: Portrait Of An American Family. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. p. 223. 
  3. ^ a b "Janet Lee Auchincloss Morris, 81". New York Times. July 24, 1989. Retrieved April 5, 2008. 
  4. ^ Adler, Bill (2009). The Eloquent Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis: A Portrait in Her Own Words. HarperCollins. p. 16. ISBN 0-061-87363-2. 
  5. ^ "MRS. J. L. BOUVIER IS WED IN VIRGINIA; Becomes the Bride of Lieut. Hugh D.Auchincloss.U.S.N., at His Country Home". The New York Times. June 23, 1942. p. 24. 
  6. ^ "Jackie's Half-Sister Dies". The Vindicator. March 20, 1985. p. 50. 
  7. ^ "Jackie's Mother Remarries". The News and Courier. October 26, 1979. p. 2-A. 
  8. ^ "Services Held for Onassis' Mother". Daily News. July 28, 1989. p. 2. 
  9. ^ Brooks, Patricia (2002). Where the Bodies Are: Final Visits to the Rich, Famous, and Interesting. Globe Pequot. pp. 26–27. ISBN 0-762-72337-8.