original name: Carolyn Jeanne Bessette
birth place: White Plains, New York, U.S.
birth date: 7 January 1966
zodiac sign: Capricon
death place: Martha´s Vineyard
death date: 16 July 1999
Height: 175 cm / 5'9¨
Weight: 59kg / lbs
Profile of Carolyn Bessette
Carolyn Jeanne Bessette-Kennedy (January 7, 1966 – July 16, 1999) was a publicist for Calvin Klein and the wife of John F. Kennedy Jr. After her marriage, Bessette-Kennedy's relationship with her husband and her fashion sense became the subjects of media scrutiny, drawing comparisons to her mother-in-law Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The couple and Bessette-Kennedy's older sister, Lauren, died in a plane crash off the coast of Martha's Vineyard in July 1999.
Biography of Carolyn Bessette
Bessette was born in White Plains, New York, the youngest child of William J. Bessette, a cabinet maker, and Ann Messina, an academic administrator in the New York City public school system. She had two older sisters, twins Lauren and Lisa.
Bessette's parents divorced when she was very young. Her mother later remarried Richard Freeman, an orthopedic surgeon, and moved to Old Greenwich, Connecticut, while Bessette's father stayed in White Plains.
Bessette attended Juniper Hill Elementary School, where art teacher Linda Bemis recalled her as a shy but ordinary child. At Juniper Hill, Bessette's mother was a substitute teacher.
Raised in a Roman Catholic household, Bessette later attended St. Mary's High School.
At St. Mary's, Bessette was voted by her classmates the "Ultimate Beautiful Person", edging out Haley Miller. During her high school experience, Bessette was described as being part of the "in crowd" and having attended "all the right parties". She had initially started high school at Greenwich High School, but her parents transferred her to St. Mary's because they felt she was not taking her studies seriously.
After graduating from high school in 1983, Bessette attended Boston University's School of Education, graduating in 1988 with a degree in elementary education.
Bessette briefly attempted a modelling career, and hired a professional photographer to take pictures for her portfolio. Although her modelling career did not prove to be profitable, she did appear on the cover of Boston University's calendar, "The Girls of B.U."
After college and until her marriage to Kennedy, Bessette worked for Calvin Klein Ltd., a high-end American fashion house. During her successful career there, she went from being a saleswoman at the Chestnut Hill Mall in the town of Newton, Massachusetts to becoming the director of publicity for the company's flagship store in Manhattan.
While working for Klein in Boston, Bessette was noticed by Susan Sokol, a travelling sales coordinator for the company. Sokol, impressed with Bessette's grace and style, later recommended her for a position dealing with Klein's high-profile clients, such as actress Annette Bening and newscaster Diane Sawyer. By the time she left Calvin Klein, she was the Director of Show Productions earning a salary in the low six figures.
Bessette first met Kennedy in 1992, while he was dating actress Daryl Hannah. Bessette and Kennedy began dating in 1994 and became a popular paparazzi target, and gossip columns detailed where they ate and shopped, and even covered their arguments. Paparazzi often waited outside the couple's Tribeca apartment to snap photographs.
Bessette was introduced to John's uncle, Senator Ted Kennedy, in the late summer of 1994. Following the marriage, the senator would tell the press: "You could tell right away that there was something special between the two of them." Bessette moved into Kennedy's Tribeca loft in the summer of 1995, and the couple became engaged later that year. She quit her job at Calvin Klein in the spring of 1996.
Kennedy and Bessette succeeded in keeping their September 21, 1996 wedding a secret from the press, avoiding media onlookers.The ceremony took place by candlelight on the remote Georgia island of Cumberland, in a tiny wooden chapel, the First African Baptist Church. The bride selected the then-little-known designer Narciso Rodriguez of Cerruti for her wedding dress of pearl-white crepe. The groom's older sister, Caroline Kennedy, was matron of honor, and Anthony Radziwill, the son of his aunt Lee Radziwill-Ross, served as Kennedy's best man. Caroline's two daughters, Tatiana and Rose, were flower girls, and her son Jack was the ring bearer. The couple honeymooned in Turkey. (In the summer of June 2019, a video of the secret wedding that took place in the remote Georgian Island was released for public viewing.)
After the wedding, the media attention surrounding the couple intensified, and Bessette-Kennedy often found it difficult to deal with the harassment. When the couple returned from their honeymoon, a mass of reporters was waiting on their doorstep.
John said, "Getting married is a big adjustment for us, and for a private citizen like Carolyn even more so. I ask you to give her all the privacy and room you can."
Bessette-Kennedy was badly disoriented by the constant attention from the paparazzi. The couple was permanently on show, both at fashionable Manhattan events and on their travels to visit celebrities such as Mariuccia Mandelli and Gianni Versace.Bessette-Kennedy told her friend, Carole Radziwill, that the only way to avoid the paparazzi was to leave her apartment at 7 in the morning. She also complained to her friend, journalist Jonathan Soroff, that she could not get a job without being accused of exploiting her fame. Her minimalist "throwaway chic" fashion sense was chronicled by various fashion publications and drew repeated comparisons to her mother-in-law, former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
While the interest surrounding the couple continued, Bessette-Kennedy refused to give interviews and turned down offers to appear in fashion magazines. Towards the end of her life, Bessette-Kennedy became more involved with charity work and often accompanied her husband to dinners at the White House (the couple were given a tour by President Bill Clinton in March 1998) and acted as the hostess for parties for her husband's political magazine George.
According to some reports published after their deaths, the Kennedys were experiencing marital problems and contemplating divorce in the months preceding their deaths. The couple had various disagreements, including her refusal to start a family, John’s work on the George magazine where she felt forsaken, and her dislike of John’s publishing partner Michael Berman. According to Vanity Fair, Bessette-Kennedy's "insecurity fueled a need to control and manipulate; her frequent use of cocaine made her paranoid". Moreover, Bessette-Kennedy was jealous of and barely on speaking terms with her sister-in-law Caroline Kennedy, who reportedly criticized the bride for being late to her own wedding and wearing heels on the beach.
However, close friends reject the divorce claims. Robert Littell, who spent the weekend with John and Carolyn a week before their deaths, also reject the allegation that the couple were living apart at the time of their deaths.
In his book, The Kennedy Curse: Why Tragedy Has Haunted America's First Family for 150 Years, author Edward Klein claimed that the couple's problems reportedly stemmed from Bessette-Kennedy's difficulty dealing with the media attention surrounding her and the marriage, accusations of infidelity, disagreements about having children, and Bessette-Kennedy's alleged cocaine use. Although Klein is the author of several Kennedy books, John Kennedy Jr. said, when speaking of Klein, "he is a guy who had lunch with my mother twenty years ago and has been dining out on it ever since." Friends of the couple's, including John Perry Barlow and Christiane Amanpour, said that Bessette-Kennedy and Kennedy fought on occasion and that Bessette-Kennedy had trouble adjusting to the intense media coverage, but denied that she used drugs or that the couple was planning to divorce. The couple began seeing a marriage counselor in March 1999 and sought counseling from Cardinal John O'Connor in the summer of 1999.
Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy died on July 16, 1999, along with her husband John F. Kennedy Jr. and her older sister Lauren, when the light plane John was piloting crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the western coast of Martha's Vineyard. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that the probable cause of the crash was: "The pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane during a descent over water at night, which was a result of spatial disorientation. Factors in the accident were haze and the dark night."
After a five day search, the wreckage was discovered in the late afternoon of July 21. The bodies were recovered from the ocean floor by Navy divers and taken by motorcade to the county medical examiner's office, where autopsies revealed that the crash victims had died upon impact. At the same time, the Kennedy and Bessette families announced their plans for memorial services.
Toxicology testing was conducted on the pilot and passengers. All tested negative for alcohol and drugs. In the late hours of July 21, the three bodies were taken from Hyannis to Duxbury, where they were cremated in the Mayflower Cemetery crematorium.
On the morning of July 22, their ashes were scattered from the Navy ship USS Briscoe off the coast of Martha's Vineyard.
Fairy Tale Interrupted: A Memoir of Life, Love, and Loss
by Rosemarie Terenzio
To everyone else, John F. Kennedy Jr. may have been American royalty, but to RoseMarie Terenzio he was an entitled nuisance—and she wasn’t afraid to let him know it. RoseMarie was his personal assistant, his publicist, and one of his closest confidantes during the last five years of his life. In this, her first memoir, she bravely recounts her own Fairy Tale Interrupted, describing the unlikely friendship between a blue-collar girl from the Bronx and John F. Kennedy Jr.
Funny, moving, and fresh, her memoir is a unique account by the woman who was with him through dating, politics, the paparazzi, and his marriage to Carolyn Bessette. Her street smarts, paired with her loyalty, candor, and relentless work ethic, made her the trusted insider to America’s most famous man.
After John and Carolyn’s tragic, untimely deaths on July 16, 1999, RoseMarie’s whole world came crashing down around her, along with her hopes for the future. Only now does she feel she can tell her story in a book that is at once a moving tribute and a very real picture of her friend and employer.
Many books have sought to capture John F. Kennedy Jr.’s life. None has been as intimate or as honest as Fairy Tale Interrupted, a true portrait of the man behind the icon—patient, protective, surprisingly goofy, occasionally thoughtless and self-involved, yet capable of extraordinary generosity and kindness. She reveals what John really had in mind for his political future, how he handled media attention, and the reality of life behind the scenes at George magazine. She also shares how she dealt with the ultra-secretive planning of John and Carolyn’s wedding on Cumberland Island—and the heartbreak of their deaths.
Fairy Tale Interrupted is a deeply loving story and a fascinating adventure, filled with warmth, humor, insight, and five years’ worth of unforgettable memories.
America's Reluctant Prince: The Life of John F. Kennedy Jr.
by Steven M. Gillon
A major new biography of John F. Kennedy Jr. from a leading historian who was also a close friend, America’s Reluctant Prince is a deeply researched, personal, surprising, and revealing portrait of the Kennedy heir the world lost too soon.
Through the lens of their decades-long friendship and including exclusive interviews and details from previously classified documents, noted historian and New York Times bestselling author Steven M. Gillon examines John F. Kennedy Jr.’s life and legacy from before his birth to the day he died. Gillon covers the highs, the lows, and the surprising incidents, viewpoints, and relationships that John never discussed publicly, revealing the full story behind JFK Jr.’s complicated and rich life. In the end, Gillon proves that John’s life was far more than another tragedy—rather, it’s the true key to understanding both the Kennedy legacy and how America’s first family continues to shape the world we live in today.
The Other Man: John F. Kennedy Jr., Carolyn Bessette, and Me
by Michael Bergin
This is the story of a small-town kid who moved to the big city, fell in love with a beautiful, mysterious woman, and found himself in competition with the most eligible bachelor in the world, John F. Kennedy Jr.
Now, for the first time, Michael Bergin reveals the truth behind a life lived in the limelight and a relationship shrouded in secrecy. From his early days growing up in a small blue-collar Connecticut town, to his meteoric rise as fashion icon and television star, to the passion he shared with the enigmatic and complex Carolyn Bessette, this is an inside look at the world of beauty, power, and celebrity.
In 1992, Michael and Carolyn met in a bar in New York City. She was unlike any woman he had ever known -- sophisticated, successful, with bewitching charm and grace. An intensely passionate relationship was born. Not long after, Michael landed the coveted Calvin Klein underwear campaign, and his career took off. The future looked bright, and Carolyn and Michael seemed destined for a long and happy life together.
But it was not to be. Four years later Michael was an international fashion icon and Carolyn was Mrs. John F. Kennedy Jr. -- however, the story doesn’t end there. This is the truth about their lives, a tale full of warmth, humor, heartbreak, and tragedy.
.Above all, The Other Man is a testament to the enduring power of love and a story about the painful choices we make with our all-too-human hearts.