JFK Jr., George, and Me
By Matt Berman
(Gallery Books, Hardcover, 9781451697018, 288pp.)
Publication Date: March 18, 2014
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As John Kennedy Jr.’s creative director for George magazine, Matt Berman had a wonderfully collaborative and fun-loving relationship with America’s favorite son—his story is told here with unprecedented candor and wit.
The Kennedys—their poise, the family secrets, and their grace in the face of unimaginable tragedies—have captured the imagination and interest of the public for more than fifty years. Now, colleague and friend of JFK Jr., Matt Berman, offers us a unique look at John’s life as both a professional and “regular guy.”
When talented creative executive Matt Berman took a meeting with John Kennedy, Jr., in 1995, he was immediately hired to serve as George’s creative director, thus beginning an unforgettable journey, both personal and professional. We follow Matt through his first days at the magazine as he navigated the choppy waters of what would be the most-talked-about magazine launch in history, helmed by a supremely confident and charming John. Wry and instantly likeable, Matt shares not only his own personal story of his relationship with John, but also valuable life and work lessons that he learned while working alongside him behind the scenes at George. But most importantly, through Matt’s recollections, we see a John Kennedy that the public never got to know. Matt paints a vivid portrait of JFK Jr., that only a select few have ever seen, offering a touching and honest tribute to John’s legacy.
Since the 1990s, creative director Matt Berman has been collaborating with some of the most influential photographers in fashion and art to create some of the industry’s most enduring imagery in print. In 1995, Matt was hired by JFK Jr., to serve as the creative director of George magazine. He worked side-by-side with John until his death in 1999 to craft his boss’s unique vision for a new kind of magazine. Matt then moved to Paris and continued to serve as creative director on several French magazine titles and advertising campaigns. Presently, Matt is at the helm of his own image-driven advertising agency, Picture Book, in New York City and Los Angeles.