The monthly Cover Story survey assigns point values to celebrities' cover appearances on more than 30 of the nation's leading publications, based on factors such as prominence of photo and frequency of publication.
Mrs. Onassis, 64, died on May 19 from cancer, and her passing was felt and noted by public and press around the world.
In the United States, weeklies like New York Magazine and U.S. News & World Report weighed in with takes on the life and times of the enigmatic and revered woman whose steely resolve to grieve in silence inspired a nation to endure the dark days following the assassination of her first husband, President John F. Kennedy.
Mrs. Onassis scored the Newsweek-Time-U.S. News & World Report hat trick, which in any other month would have been unusual. But in May, the feat was matched by Nelson Mandela, newly elected president of South Africa, and former President Richard Nixon, who also died last month, at the age of 81. Both men scored four points with three covers and tied for fifth place.
Mrs. Onassis' eight points were equaled by President , but she earned first place by capturing seven covers to his four.
President Clinton was in the news thanks to Paula Jones, who accused the president of sexual harrassment during his tenure as governor of Arkansas.
But not all of President Clinton's cover appearances were tied to scandal. Child ran a feature on Chelsea Clinton's famous parents, while the Spring issue of Home Fitness Buyers Guide had as its cover a picture of the pudgy president dressed in an Arkansas Razorbacks T-shirt.
Finishing in third place was country music star Lyle Lovett, who managed seven points from three covers. Esquire knighted the quirky ugly duckling as the prototype for the '90s male, an honor earned by marrying the much-drooled-after actress Julia Roberts last year.
But this was before the tabloids began reporting a tryst between Ms. Roberts and Gen X actor/hunk Ethan Hawk, seemingly turning Mr. Lovett into the prototype of the '90s cuckhold. The Roberts-Hawk couple received three covers for three points and tied for eighth place.
Cover Story regular Oprah Winfrey placed fourth on the May survey with six points and four covers. Ms. Winfrey got attention last month for introducing to the world the reason for her latest weight loss-diet specialist Rosie Daley.
Placing seventh were supermodel Cindy Crawford and the cast of Fox's "Melrose Place." Ms. Crawford-who used her press to refute rumors that she and husband Richard Gere are gay-and the cast of TV's hottest prime-time soap tallied four points and two covers each.
Roberts-Hawk led a four-way tie for eighth that rounds out the May Cover Story, each with three points and three covers: sitcom superstar Roseanne Arnold; talk show chattress Sally Jesse Raphael; and the cast of "Star Trek: The Next Generation," which ended its seven-year TV voyage last month.