ABC News Acquires Jacqueline Kennedy Interviews, Specials Planned for September

By Alex Weprin Comment

ABC News has acquired a series of interviews–an oral history–with former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. The interviews will air as part of a series of specials on the network in September, including a primetime special anchored by Diane Sawyer.

The interviews were conducted by journalist Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. in 1964, and have remained sealed until now.

In addition to the Sawyer special, excerpts will appear on all ABC News programs. More information after the jump.


Jacqueline Kennedy, In Her Own Words

ABC News Premiers Jacqueline Kennedy’s Remarkable 1964 Official Oral History

Diane Sawyer to Anchor a Primetime Special as Part of a Series of Features and Reports Airing this September

Reports to Coincide with the Publication of “Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy”

This September ABC News will present an historic television event: Jacqueline Kennedy in her own words. For the first time viewers will hear the recollections and reflections of the former First Lady during in-depth conversations with historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. – conversations that Mrs. Kennedy recorded for posterity. Diane Sawyer will anchor this series of special reports, which will include an exclusive interview with Caroline Kennedy to discuss these never-before-heard interviews.


In the spring of 1964, Jacqueline Kennedy sat down for seven historic interviews with Schlesinger, which have remained strictly sealed – until now. In this unique time capsule Jacqueline Kennedy recorded her impressions of life with her husband President John F. Kennedy.

The more than eight and a half hours of official audio recordings cover the extraordinary historic events that shaped the Kennedy White House – from John F. Kennedy’s early campaigns to the Cuban Missile Crisis to his last days in the White House. The interviews 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, providing a unique window into one of the world’s most admired women.

“It is a great privilege to be able to share these recollections with the millions of people who admire my parents. My mother took very seriously the obligation to preserve and document the history of my father’s administration — and these interviews are the result. I am honored to play a small part in that effort by bringing them forward in connection with the 50 anniversary of the Kennedy Administration,” said Caroline Kennedy. More from Caroline Kennedy here: WATCH.

The centerpiece of this ABC News television event will be a special Diane Sawyer primetime hour airing this September. In addition, reports will air across all ABC News broadcasts and platforms – including “World News with Diane Sawyer,” “Good Morning America,” “Nightline,” and “This Week with Christiane Amanpour.” Segments will also air on ABC News Radio, ABC News NOW, and NewsOne, the network’s affiliate service. has launched a special webpage that will highlight the historic events of the Kennedy administration that are discussed by Mrs. Kennedy in the audio tapes.

This ABC News series of special programs will coincide with the publication of the highly anticipated book based upon the oral history interviews titled, “Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy,” The book includes a personal foreword by Caroline Kennedy and annotations by historian Michael Beschloss. Hyperion is publishing the book and audiotapes this September in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy Administration and in association with the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library. Click here to pre-order.