Friday, January 23, 2015

JFK Donated Salary to Charity While Jackie Spent Money on Clothing

President Kennedy was perhaps the most generous president's in US history. For years he donated his political salary to charity. This was at time when Charities were not so top heavy. In contrast, his wife Jackie, spent money at a unbridled pace; mostly on clothes. According to her secretary and bookkeeper, Mary Barelli Gallagher, in 1961 Jackie's spending totaled $105,446 and in 1962 it was $121,461. Keep in mind that was at time when the higher tax brackets were about 80% - therefore to have $120,000 in after-tax money an individual would have to earn upward of $600,000 or better. According to Gallagher, there were major arguments between President Kennedy and his wife over Jackie's uncontrollable spending, as well as her fidelity (see Gore Vidal's memoir Palimpsest for more about the first lady's dalliances).

 
* see My Life with Jacqueline Kennedy, Mary Barelli Gallagher 1970

(pg 227 of Gallagher's book detailing Jackie's spending)

Was Jackie a money grubber?
** $121,461 dollars in 1962 would be about $937,953 in 2014 dollars.
** $600,000 dollars in 1962 would be about $4.6 million in 2014 dollars.