Grace Kelly in 1965 interview on JFK: "I felt personally involved" in the presidency

Listen to an unearthed interview on the week of the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's death


Prachi Gupta
November 20, 2013 12:14AM (UTC)

During the week of the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's death, Blank on Blank, a PBS Digital Studios production, and PRX have animated a 1965 interview with Grace Kelly, the late Princess of Monaco, about the late President. Kelly, who became close friends with JFK, spoke to Paul Gallico about how the president revived her interest in politics because of "his youth."

"He was one of my own generation, so that for the first time in my life I became deeply involved, spiritually, and sympathetically, with the presidency—the office as well as the man," Kelly said. "I felt personally involved."

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Speaking as both "a born American but also as the wife of the head of an independent European country," Kelly reflected on what JFK's presidency meant to her and her generation:

[My husband and I] felt somehow that at last the United States had a leader who, from the point of view of age, appearance, and dynamic personality, genuinely reflected his era. My husband often remarked what a pity it was that a great country like America, which in Europe is still regarded as such a young nation, should be represented seemingly only by old or infirm men.

...From the moment he became President, it seemed as though a wave of excitement ran through all of the young painters, poets, writers and musicians of the United States. Now that someone of their own age was in the White House, there was somehow a better chance for them to be seen or heard.

Listen to the full interview, below:


Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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