John Vernou Bouvier III

John Vernou Bouvier III

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John Vernou "Black Jack" Bouvier III (May 19, 1891, East Hampton, New York
East Hampton (village), New York
The Village of East Hampton is a village in Town of East Hampton, New York. It is located in Suffolk County, on the South Fork of eastern Long Island...

 – August 3, 1957, New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

) was an American socialite
Socialite
A socialite is a person who participates in social activities and spends a significant amount of time entertaining and being entertained at fashionable upper-class events....

 and Wall Street
Wall Street
Wall Street refers to the financial district of New York City, named after and centered on the eight-block-long street running from Broadway to South Street on the East River in Lower Manhattan. Over time, the term has become a metonym for the financial markets of the United States as a whole, or...

 stockbroker. He was the father of former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Jacqueline Lee Bouvier "Jackie" Kennedy Onassis was the wife of the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, and served as First Lady of the United States during his presidency from 1961 until his assassination in 1963. Five years later she married Greek shipping magnate Aristotle...

 and Princess Lee Radziwill
Lee Radziwill
Caroline Lee Bouvier Canfield Radziwill Ross best known as Lee Radziwill, is an American socialite, public relations executive, and former actress and interior decorator. She is the younger sister of the late First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis...

. His nickname was "Black Jack", referring to his omnipresent dark tan and his flamboyant lifestyle.

He was the eldest child of Major 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
Cabinet making
Cabinet making is the practice of using various woodworking skills to create cabinets, shelving and furniture.Cabinet making involves techniques such as creating appropriate joints, dados, bevels, chamfers and shelving systems, the use of finishing tools such as routers to create decorative...

 or furniture
Furniture
Furniture is the mass noun for the movable objects intended to support various human activities such as seating and sleeping in beds, to hold objects at a convenient height for work using horizontal surfaces above the ground, or to store things...

 shop, making fine furniture for the likes of Stephen Girard
Stephen Girard
Stephen Girard was a French-born, naturalized American, philanthropist and banker. He personally saved the U.S. government from financial collapse during the War of 1812, and became one of the wealthiest men in America, estimated to have been the fourth richest American of all time, based on the...

 and Joseph Bonaparte
Joseph Bonaparte
Joseph-Napoléon Bonaparte was the elder brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, who made him King of Naples and Sicily , and later King of Spain...

, Napoleon's brother who lived for a time on his estate, Point Breeze in Bordentown
Bordentown, New Jersey
Bordentown City is in Burlington County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city population was 3,924. Bordentown is located at the confluence of the Delaware River, Blacks Creek and Crosswicks Creek...

, New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

. 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
Wall Street
Wall Street refers to the financial district of New York City, named after and centered on the eight-block-long street running from Broadway to South Street on the East River in Lower Manhattan. Over time, the term has become a metonym for the financial markets of the United States as a whole, or...

. 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
East Hampton (town), New York
The Town of East Hampton is located in southeastern Suffolk County, New York, at the eastern end of the South Shore of Long Island. It is the easternmost town in the state of New York...

, known as Lasata
Lasata
Lasata was the girlhood summer home of First Lady of the United States Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in East Hampton, New York until she was about 12....

. John Vernou Bouvier III had a younger brother, William Sergeant "Bud" Bouvier (1893–1929), who died prematurely from alcoholism, and three sisters, Maude R. Bouvier Davis, Michelle C. Bouvier Scott Putnam, and Edith Ewing Bouvier (the mother of socialite and singer Edith Bouvier Beale
Edith Bouvier Beale
Edith Bouvier Beale was an American socialite, fashion model and cabaret performer. She was a first cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Lee Radziwill...

).

Bouvier served in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 and attended Sheffield Scientific School
Sheffield Scientific School
Sheffield Scientific School was founded in 1847 as a school of Yale College in New Haven, Connecticut for instruction in science and engineering. Originally named the Yale Scientific School, it was renamed in 1861 in honor of Joseph E. Sheffield, the railroad executive. The school was...

 of Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

, graduating in 1914, becoming a stockbroker.. 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
Hugh D. Auchincloss
Hugh Dudley Auchincloss, Jr. was an American stockbroker and lawyer who became the second husband of Janet Lee Bouvier, the mother of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.-Biography:...

. His former wife reportedly did not want him to escort Jacqueline down the aisle for her wedding to John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

. 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 died at 66, and is buried in the Bouvier family plot at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Cemetery
Most Holy Trinity Catholic Cemetery
Most Holy Trinity Catholic Cemetery is a cemetery in East Hampton, New York that is the burial ground for the paternal ancestors and relatives of First Lady of the United States Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis....

in East Hampton.