JFKWHP-KN-18640 (crop): First Lady’s Social Secretary Letitia Baldrige, 25 August 1961

Letitia Baldrige was Jacqueline Kennedy’s social secretary in the White House. Having been acquaintances with Mrs. Kennedy since their time together at Miss Porter’s School in Connecticut, Ms. Baldrige assisted the First Lady in planning the many state dinners and social gatherings in the White House. Before working at the White House, Ms. Baldrige worked in the American Embassies in Rome and Paris at a time when women were rarely given overseas jobs. She then became the first female executive at Tiffany & Co in 1956. After leaving the White House, she founded Letitia Baldrige Enterprises, a marketing and public relations agency that was one of the first companies in the country run by a female CEO. She has written numerous books on social etiquette and has been an advisor to five subsequent First Ladies.



1926 February 9, Born, Miami, Florida

1946 B.A., Psychology, Vassar College

1946-1948 Graduate studies, L’Université de Geneve, Switzerland

1948-1951 Personal Social Secretary to U.S. Ambassador, Paris

1951-1953 Intelligence Officer, American Embassy, Paris

1953-1956 Assistant to U.S. Ambassador, Rome

1956-1961 Director, Public Relations, Tiffany & Co.

1961-1963 Social Secretary and Chief of Staff for Mrs. Kennedy

1964-1969 President, Letitia Baldrige Enterprises, Chicago

1969-1971 Director, Consumer Affairs, Burlington Industries

1972-  President, Letitia Baldrige Enterprises, New York City

2012  October 29, Died


Roman Candle, 1956.
Tiffany Table Settings, 1958.
Of Diamonds and Diplomats, 1968.
Home, 1972.
Juggling, 1976.
Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Book of Etiquette, 1978.
Amy Vanderbilt’s Everyday Etiquette, 1979.
Entertainers, 1981.
Letitia Baldrige’s Complete Guide to Executive Manners, 1985.
Letitia Baldrige’s Complete Guide to a Great Social Life, 1987.
Letitia Baldrige’s Complete Guide to the New Manners for the ‘90s, 1989.
Public Affairs, Private Relations, 1990.
Letitia Baldrige’s New Complete Guide to Executive Manners, 1993.
Letitia Baldrige’s More than Manners!, 1997.
In the Kennedy Style: Magical Evenings in the Kennedy White House (with Rene Verdon), 1998.
Legendary Brides: From the Most Romantic Weddings Ever, Inspired Ideas for Today’s Brides, 2000.
Lady, First: My Life in the White House and the American Embassies of Paris and Rome, 2001.
Letitia Baldrige’s New Manners for New Times: A Complete Guide to Etiquette, 2003.
The Kennedy Mystique (with Jon Goodman, Hugh Sidey, Robert Dallek and Barbara Baker Burrows), 2006.


“Baldrige, Letitia.” Who’s Who of American Women 1989-1990. 16th edition. Wilmette, IL: Macmillan Directory Division. 1988.
Baldrige, Letitia. Lady, First: My Life in the White House and the American Embassies of Paris and Rome. New York, NY: Penguin Putnam Inc. 2001.