Lee Radziwill, Sister Of Jacqueline Kennedy, Dies At Age 85

The fashion icon and sister-in-law of President John F. Kennedy lived a full life in the spotlight.

Lee Radziwill, the sister of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, attends Marina Cicogna Opening Exhibition
Franco Origlia / Getty Images

The fashion icon and sister-in-law of President John F. Kennedy lived a full life in the spotlight.

Lee Radziwill, the younger sister of first lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, has died at the age of 85 after years as a style icon and socialite. She is survived by her daughter, Anna, and her daughter-in-law, Carole Radziwill, of Real Housewives of New York fame.

Page Six says that though Radziwill was suffering from age-related illness, and was using a wheelchair, she was generally in good health, still appearing in public and attending social events.

Mrs. Radziwill was married three times.

“[Lee Radziwill was married] first to publishing executive Michael Canfield, then to Polish Prince Stanislas Radziwill, with whom she had two children, and finally to film director Herb Ross.”

Radziwill had a number of professional chapters also, as an actor, an interior designer, and as a “brand ambassador, public relations executive and special events coordinator for Giorgio Armani,” says WWD.

Caroline Lee Bouvier Radziwill was born in New York City, the daughter of John Vernou Bouvier III (often known as Blackjack) and Janet Lee Norton.

The socialite’s friend, Valentino Garavani, says that until the end, Radziwill was still “extremely present.”

“It’s a natural end of a marvelous life. She had everything a woman can desire…beauty, intelligence, style, fame.…I am sure she had moments of happiness, too.”

Designer Giorgio Armani and Radziwill were friends for decades, and he spoke of her in the most glowing of terms, referring to her as extremely elegant, and a true member of “American aristocracy,” with sophistication and a “respect for the rules.”

The two also had an excellent collaboration, professionally, and he says she represented the Armani style on the Hollywood stage.

“She was very intuitive and well-respected. Maybe that was because looking at her it was impossible not to see in her fragments of the American history.”

Of her relationship with her famous sister, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Lee was often thought of as “the pretty one,” while Jackie was the intellectual. Radziwill called her sister “Jacks,” reminiscent of their father’s name, while she was called Lee, their mother’s maiden name.

The sisters were close, but competitive. The two married for the first time months apart, and both later had relationships with billionaire Aristotle Onassis.

In her book, Happy Times, Radziwill said she was always trying to emulate her sister in various endeavors when they were growing up.

“One always looks up to older siblings for guidance. One tries to emulate them and follow their achievements. That’s what I did with my sister. But as we were so different physically, Jackie being strong and athletic, I being soft and chubby, I never followed her when she rode horses, despite my father’s efforts. “