John Vernou Bouvier, III

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John Vernou Bouvier, III

Also Known As: "Jack"
Birthdate: (66)
Birthplace: East Hampton, Suffolk County, New York, United States
Death: Died in New York, New York, United States
Cause of death: liver cancer
Place of Burial: Easthampton, Hampshire Co, MA
Immediate Family:

Son of John Vernou Bouvier, II and Maude Frances Bouvier
Husband of Janet Norton Bouvier
Father of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis; Caroline Lee Canfield and <private> Radziwell (Bouvier)
Brother of William Sergeant Bouvier; Edith Ewing Beale; Parker Swindales; Michelle C. Putnam and Maude R. Davis

Occupation: N.Y. Stock Exchange Member, Socialite and Wall Street stockbrocker, stock broker
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John Vernou Bouvier, III

John Vernou Bouvier III (May 19, 1891, Easthampton, Massachusetts – August 3, 1957, New York City, New York) was an American socialite and Wall Street stockbroker. He was the father of former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Princess Lee Radziwill. His nickname was "Black Jack", referring to his omnipresent dark tan and his flamboyant lifestyle.

He was the eldest child of John Vernou Bouvier, Jr. (1865-1948) and Maude Frances Sergeant (1870-1940). The Bouvier family descended from Michel Bouvier (1792-1874), a French cabinetmaker, who left France in 1815 after the defeat of Napoleon. He settled in Philadelphia where he opened a cabinet making or furniture shop. He made fine furniture for the likes of Stephen Girard and Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon's brother who lived for a time on his estate, Point Breeze in Bordentown, New Jersey. Michel gained his fortune later in real estate speculation. His son, Michel Charles (M.C.) Bouvier further distinguished himself in the world of finance on Wall Street. M.C. left his fortune to his nephew, Major John Vernou Bouvier Jr., who used it to buy a fantastic estate in East Hampton, Long Island, known as Lasata. John Vernou Bouvier III had a younger brother, William Sergeant "Bud" Bouvier (1893-1929), who died prematurely from alcoholism, and three sisters, Maude R., Michelle C., and Edith Ewing Bouvier (the mother of socialite and singer Edith Bouvier Beale).[1][2][3]

Bouvier served in World War I and attended Sheffield Scientific School, graduating in 1914, becoming a stockbroker.[4]. He married Janet Norton Lee, on July 7, 1928, with whom he had two daughters, Jacqueline and Lee. His drinking, gambling and womanizing led to his divorce from his wife in 1940. While he never remarried, Janet did in 1942, to Hugh D. Auchincloss. His former wife reportedly did not want him to escort Jacqueline down the aisle for her wedding to John F. Kennedy. Jacqueline was instead escorted by her stepfather. Some reports state that Bouvier was too intoxicated to escort his daughter, and this was the reason Auchincloss stepped in to give the bride away.

He is buried in the Bouvier family plot at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Cemetery in East Hampton.


Bouvier was born in East Hampton, New York. He was the eldest of five children born to Major John Vernou Bouvier, Jr. (1865–1948), a successful attorney, and Maude Frances Sergeant (1870–1940). Bouvier's great-grandfather, Michel Bouvier (1792–1874), was a French Canadian cabinetmaker who immigrated through Niagara, New York, along with several other family members. He settled in Philadelphia, where he opened a cabinet making or furniture shop, making fine furniture for customers including Stephen Girard. As well as doing fine cabinetry Michel Bouvier had a business distributing firewood. To support this he acquired large tracts of timber, some of which turned out to be above coal. Michel gained his fortune later in real estate speculation. His son, Michel Charles (M.C.) Bouvier, further distinguished himself in the world of finance on Wall Street. M.C. left his fortune to his nephew, Major John Vernou Bouvier, Jr., who used it to buy an estate in East Hampton, Long Island, known as Lasata.

Bouvier had a younger brother, William Sergeant "Bud" Bouvier (1893–1929), who died from alcoholism, and three younger sisters, Maude R. Bouvier Davis, Michelle C. Bouvier Scott Putnam, and Edith Ewing Bouvier (wife of Phelan Beale, Sr., mother of Edith Bouvier Beale, Phelan Beale, Jr., and Bouvier Beale).

Bouvier attended Sheffield Scientific School of Yale University. While attending Yale, he was a member of the Book and Snake secret society and the Cloister Club. He graduated in 1914. Upon his graduation, he went to work as a stockbroker at his brother-in-law's firm. In 1917, Bouvier left the firm to join the United States Navy. When the Navy proved to be too strenuous, he transferred to the United States Army where he served as a major. Bouvier was discharged in 1919 whereupon he went back to work as a stockbroker on Wall Street.

Personal life Bouvier married Janet Norton Lee on July 7, 1928 at St. Philomena's Church in East Hampton. They had two daughters, Jacqueline Lee "Jackie" Bouvier and Caroline Lee Bouvier. Bouvier's drinking, gambling, and philandering led to their divorce in June 1940. Bouvier never remarried.

In June 1942, Janet Lee married Hugh Dudley Auchincloss, Jr. Lee reportedly did not want Bouvier to escort his daughter Jacqueline down the aisle for her wedding to John F. Kennedy, so Jacqueline was instead escorted by her stepfather Auchincloss.

Later years and death By the mid-1950s, Bouvier had sporadic contact with his daughters and family. He spent the majority of his time drinking alone at his New York City apartment located at 125 East 74th Street.

In the spring of 1957, Bouvier was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer. He checked into Lenox Hill Hospital on July 27, 1957 to undergo chemotherapy. On August 1, he fell into a coma and died two days later on August 3 at the age of 66. His funeral, which was arranged by his daughter Jacqueline, was held at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan after which he was buried in the Bouvier family plot at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Cemetery in East Hampton, New York.

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John Vernou Bouvier, III's Timeline

1891
May 19, 1891
East Hampton, Suffolk County, New York, United States
1929
July 28, 1929
Age 38
East Hampton, Suffolk County, New York, United States
1933
March 3, 1933
Age 41
Southampton, New York, United States
1957
August 3, 1957
Age 66
New York, New York, United States
????
Easthampton, Hampshire Co, MA