Unsealed Jackie Kennedy interviews to air on TV

Wed May 25, 2011 6:51pm EDT
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - A series of unsealed 1960s audio recordings of Jacqueline Kennedy talking about her life with husband and revered President John F. Kennedy will be broadcast on television, ABC News said on Wednesday.

In 1964, the former first lady did seven interviews totaling eight and a half hours with late historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. that were recorded for posterity but have never been made public before, ABC said.

They have now been unsealed and will be condensed and aired in several ABC television and radio shows, beginning in September.

"My mother took very seriously the obligation to preserve and document the history of my father's administration -- and these interviews are the result," said Kennedy's daughter Caroline, who is releasing the tapes at the same time as writing the forward of a book based upon the oral history interviews.

ABC said the conversations with Schlesinger "reflect Mrs. Kennedy's evolving sense of herself and her role as first lady as she talks about her family and married life in the White House."

They cover events of the day, including early political campaigns, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and John F. Kennedy's last days in the White House.

Jacqueline Kennedy, considered one of the most beautiful and stylish women in the world, married Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis after the assassination of her husband in 1963. She died of cancer in 1994.

Publisher Hyperion will release the audiotapes along with the book, "Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy," that includes a personal foreword by Caroline Kennedy.

Caroline Kennedy will also be interviewed by Diane Sawyer in an ABC News special in September.

(Reporting by Christine Kearney, editing by Jill Serjeant)