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The date: Oct. 20, 1968.

The bride: Jacqueline Kennedy, a president’s widow who had dominated public imagination, culture and style.

The groom: Aristotle Onassis, one of the world’s richest men, a tycoon who had risen from rags to tankers.

The venue: the Greek Orthodox chapel on Skorpios, a private and secure island in the Ionian Sea owned by the groom.

Invited guests were kept to about 20.

I was a correspondent in the London bureau when the call came to cover the event. I had covered Athens in the aftermath of Greece’s 1967 military coup. King Constantine fled the country the same day I got there. (It was nothing personal.)

In one way, the colonels who had staged the coup were easier to cover, because you knew what they would be wearing. Not so the bride.

A few days before the wedding, reporters descended on the Hotel Grande Bretagne in downtown Athens. Long tables were set up in the ballroom for portable typewriters. Tabletops, not laptops. All fine, but we could have used a working long-distance phone line or two.

Correspondents Paul Hofmann, on vacation in Rome, and Ray Anderson, on vacation on the island of Rhodes, were both asked to join the coverage. We had a staff meeting in a room overlooking the Acropolis.

Our master plan for coverage emerged.

Paul would work on background on Onassis’s business interests, which included 30 companies, as well as yachts and the jets of Olympic Airways. He also had a few mansions, penthouses and villas scattered around.





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