He fell in love with the locks of Jackie Kennedy and turned them into a bouffant fashion helmet for her first Inaugural Ball. Marilyn Monroe was another client. (And who can forget the breathless delivery of Marilyn's love song dedicated to the Prez?) Kenneth was given the cold shoulder about going backstage to see Marilyn when she performed at the Madison Square Garden. To him, that snide smite was no doubt due to her whispered affair with JFK.
Kenneth groomed her for John F. Kennedy's 45th birthday rally at the Garden where she sang "Happy Birthday, Mr. President." The grand dames of New York called him the first celebrity hairdresser, clients like Brooke Astor, Lee Radziwill, Katherine Graham, Judy Garland and Audrey Hepburn among them. Lucille Ball called Kenneth "God."
His career never went to his head.
"What I do," he said unceremoniously, "is only a shampoo away from being nothing."