How Did Lee Radziwill Die? New Details About How Jackie O's Younger Sister Died

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How Did Lee Radziwill Die? New Details About How Jackie O's Younger Sister Died
Entertainment And News

Style icon and lifelong socialite Lee Radziwill passed away at the age of 85. She was the younger sister of late former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and sister-in-law of late President John F. Kennedy. 

Radziwill was born Caroline Lee Bouvier on March 3, 1933, the daughter of Janet Norton Lee and John Vernou “Black Jack” Bouvier. Radziwill grew up in New York City and East Hampton and attended Miss Porter’s School, along with her sister Jackie.

So who is Lee Radziwill? We have all the details about Jackie O's youngest sister, including how she died.

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1. She was a princess.

Radziwill became a princess when she married Polish aristocrat Prince Stanislaw Albrecht Radziwill in 1959 and went by the name of Princess Lee Radziwill. Together, they had two children, a son, Anthony, and a daughter, Christina. They divorced in 1974. 

Radziwill was also married to publishing executive Michael Temple Canfield from 1953 to 1959, and film director Herbert Ross from 1988 to 2001. Ross died later that same year.

2. She and Jackie were close.

Radziwill had been close to her sister, sharing holidays and family gatherings together, and attending state functions. They hosted the Kennedys at the Radziwill townhouse in London.

The sisters took monthlong vacations in Italy, Indi, and Pakistan. The sisters stunned the world riding elephants in their bouffant hairdos and fashion finery on a trip to India and Pakistan during the Kennedy presidency in March 1962. 

3. She was part of the elite.

During her life in the public eye, she enjoyed hanging out with such New York fixtures as Truman Capote, Rudfolf Nureyev, Peter Beard, and Andy Warhol. She dabbled in Hollywood as an actress in the 1968 film Laura before becoming an interior designer.

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4. She was known for her style.

Radziwill was known for her impeccable sense of style. The style icon's fashion sense was noted by Vanity Fair's inclusion of her in its Best-Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1994. She went on to work for Giorgio Armani in roles including brand ambassador and public relations executive.

Fashion designer Valentino Garavani told WWD, "It's a natural end of a marvelous life. She had everything a woman can desire...beauty, intelligence, style, fame... I am sure she had moments of happiness, too."  

He also posted a photo of Radziwill with Onassis on Instagram, saying that they were now reunited. 

5. She wrote an autobiography.

Radziwill wrote an autobiography entitled Lee, which reveals details about her life and an inside look at one of America’s most high-profile families. The book shares photos, copies of memorabilia, and memories of how she connected with Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth, on living beside a high-profile woman during a visit to a Buckingham Palace.

“We took a tour through the [palace] art gallery and Prince Phillip (sic) said to me, ‘You’re just like me — you have to walk three steps behind, ‘” Lee recalled.

She also wrote of being Jackie’s sister, “We were always surrounded by too many people.”

6. Her son was married to Carole Radziwill of RHONY.

She is survived by her daughter Anna, and daughter-in-law Carole Radziwill, author and television personality on the reality series, The Real Housewives of New York. Lee’s son Anthony and Carole Radziwill were married in 1994. Anthony and his cousin, John Kennedy Jr., were very close, and Carole was best friends with Carolyn Bessette Kennedy. 

It was July 17, 1999, when Anthony and Carole learned that a private plane carrying JFK Jr. and Bessette Kennedy was lost over the sea near Martha’s Vineyard along with Carolyn’s sister. Anthony was battling cancer and was in the terminal stage of his disease. Carole wrote in her book, What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship & Love, that Anthony “sat at the kitchen table and folded his arms to support his head, and then dropped it down and cried. It was the first time I’d seen him like that, and I knew we were beyond doing anything for each other.” 

Tragically, Anthony died of cancer in 1999 just three weeks after the passing of JFK Jr.

When Carole joined The Real Housewives of New York, she told the Daily Beast she didn’t want to be known for her famous family.

“I don’t consider myself part of the Kennedy family,” Carole, 55, said. “It’s almost like a little point of honor. I’m a DiFalco at the end of the day. An Italian-American from upstate New York. I never call myself a Kennedy cousin. In fact, when I signed my contract with Bravo, I made it very clear that they were not allowed in promos to refer to me as a Kennedy cousin. I’m not that person. I don’t feel it.” 

The Real Housewives of New York City alum, 55, shared a gorgeous old photo of Lee on Instagram.

“She was loved. Rest in Peace, Lee,” Carole wrote to accompany the black-and-white photograph. “Thank you for the kind words & comments.”

The RHONY star also said that she didn’t see her famed mother-in-law as much as she would’ve liked.

“The thing about Lee is that not only is she an unbelievably beautiful woman, she’s one of the most curious women I’ve ever met,” Carole said at the time. “I don’t think she would understand reality TV, but if you look at her life, she was always doing something interesting and different. She was a decorator, she was even an actress on stage for a while, she worked in fashion, she had so many different interests and lives and careers. So I think she would be amused.”

7. She was loved by many.

Designer Tory Burch was among the stars who paid tribute to Lee over the weekend. 

“We are heartbroken and I will miss our dear friend. Rest In Peace, Lee Radziwill,” she wrote, among others. 

8. She died of natural causes. 

Radziwill’s daughter, Anna Christina Radziwill, told the New York Times that her mother died of natural causes. 

Lee is survived by daughter Anna Christina “Tina” Radziwill.

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Maria Lianos-Carbone is author of "Oh Baby! A Mom's Self-Care Survival Guide for the First Year" and publisher of amotherworld.com.

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