UNDATED (CBS) - Wednesday morning, some never-before-seen photos are giving us a different look at President John F. Kennedy and his family. They appear in a new book about one of America's most famous couples.
Nearly half a century after the death of President Kennedy, a new collection of photographs has been released of JFK with his wife, Jackie, and their two children during some of their most private family moments.
Taken by a LIFE magazine photographer who was also a close friend, the photos capture the Kennedy's with an air of glamour during in an era now referred to as 'Camelot."
Pat Suzuki, 81, remembers the time called 'Camelot'- she was there with Jackie Kennedy who was about to become one of the world's most famous woman. She says, "When she was under pressure and she had the paparazzi moving in on her it made her, um, not so much self-conscious but it assaulted her sense of self-propriety and it was hard on her in the beginning and then she learned how to handle it."
Suzuki's late husband was a high-profile New York fashion photographer named Mark Shaw. In 1959, while working for LIFE magazine, Shaw was assigned to shoot a cover story on Jackie Kennedy, while her husband, then a Massachusetts senator, was running for president.
Shaw photographed the young couple at home, at work, and on the campaign trail. The pictures he took of them at work and at play with their daughter Caroline were infused with a glamour not usually associated with politicians. Kennedy biographer Robert Dallek says, "There's a sort of Hollywood quality to it, a sense that these are celebrities- these are people that are famous, they enjoy their notoriety and the public responds to it."
The pictures in LIFE were a sensation, and Shaw became a close friend of the Kennedy's, who granted him unprecedented access to some of their most private family moments, at the white house and while on vacation in Hyannis Port and Portofino, Italy.
Shaw was with them as JFK was elected and their celebrity exploded, on the inside at the inaugural gala produced by Frank Sinatra and featuring Harry Belafonte, Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole.
Dallek says the photos show JFK in a way that has captivated the world for over fifty years. He says, "It was not just that he was handsome, but there was a kind of aura, a kind of charisma to the man that allowed him to capture the public imagination."
From the start, both John and Jacqueline Kennedy understood the importance of their public image. There are lighthearted moments, and there are pictures taken at the height of the Cold War. One set of photos taken during the Bay of Pigs disaster were never released because Kennedy felt he looked too serious. Dallek says, "This book shows him strong, vital, young, forward looking and full of potential and possibilities and I think that's partly what appeals to people. There are a lot of 'might've beens' and 'would have beens' and people cling to that."
The history of the Kennedy years was complicated. But these pictures don't recall that. They show instead a time of hope and change for the nation - and the young couple who personified it.