JFK Jr. Photos: What Was John's Childhood Really Like? New Pictures Show Jackie O's Son Always Loved Flying [PHOTOS & REPORT]

By Noelle Chehab March 28, 2013 4:08 PM EDT
JFK Jr.'s passion for flight was apparent at a young age. The youngest sits in the cockpit of the Presidential helicopter. (Photo: Robert Knudsen/JFK Library)
JFK Jr.'s passion for flight was apparent at a young age. The youngest sits in the cockpit of the Presidential helicopter. (Photo: Robert Knudsen/JFK Library)

JFK Jr. photos never before seen by the public have been released by the JFK Library, offering a glimpse into the private moments of the President and Jackie O's son as he played in the Presidential helicopter, rode a horse and spent time with his sister, Caroline.

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According to the JFK library, the photos of JFK Jr. and his family were snapped at Camp David in March, 1963 during a weekend trip. The images are at once sweet and heartbreaking, reminding Americans once again of the tragic end of JFK Jr.'s life.

In the images, the famous family exudes charm and allure, appearing well-dressed yet simultaneously carefree. Mrs. Kennedy is even seen wearing high heels and a formal coat while she prepared the children for a horse ride at the properties barn.

John Jr. loved flying from an early age, although the hobby would ultimately lead to his death. (Photo: Robert Knudsen/JFK Library)
John Jr. loved flying from an early age, although the hobby would ultimately lead to his death. (Photo: Robert Knudsen/JFK Library)

John Jr. was 2-years-old in the photographs, captured while sitting inside the Presidential helicopter. In the candid photos, he was listening to head phones and grabbing ahold of the controls as if he were about to take flight.

The young JFK was outfitted in a patriotic ensemble, wearing blue trousers, a red sailor jacket and matching red shoes. It is clear that Jackie played a hand in styling the charismatic toddler.

Photographed alongside JFK Jr., is sister Caroline who was 5-years-old. The blonde girl was smiling happily while sitting atop of her pony named Macaroni.

Caroline Kennedy sits on her pony, Macaroni, while brother John reaches out for the horse. Parents John and Jackie look on happily. (Photo: Robert Knudsen/JFK Library)
Caroline Kennedy sits on her pony, Macaroni, while brother John reaches out for the horse. Parents John and Jackie look on happily. (Photo: Robert Knudsen/JFK Library)

The horse, which was a gift from Lyndon Johnson who was JFK's vice-president, famously roamed the lawn of the White House while JFK was in office.

JFK Jr., who was too young for a pony ride, can be seen earnestly tugging the reigns, in what looks like his attempt to have a turn at riding the famous horse.

The images shed insight into the famously private family. In a remote location, the four seem to be at ease, enjoying the peace and quiet of Camp David.

Style icon Jackie Kennedy is photographed wearing high heels, even when preparing the pony for a ride outside of the barn. (Photo: Robert Knudsen/JFK Library)
Style icon Jackie Kennedy is photographed wearing high heels, even when preparing the pony for a ride outside of the barn. (Photo: Robert Knudsen/JFK Library)

Yet, seeing the joy of the youngest Kennedy in the cockpit, which would come to be one of his favorite places, is a sad reminder of his ultimate fate.

In July 1999, JFK Jr. was designated as pilot when the Piper Saratoga II HP he was flying crashed into the waters surrounding Martha's Vineyard. His wife, Carolyn Bessette and her sister Lauren were also aboard the aircraft that recovered no survivors.

President Kennedy looks relaxed, enjoying a leisurely afternoon on a bench in the company of his son and dog. (Photo: Robert Knudsen/JFK Library)
President Kennedy looks relaxed, enjoying a leisurely afternoon on a bench in the company of his son and dog. (Photo: Robert Knudsen/JFK Library)

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