Memories of JFK From His Gay Best Friend

President John F. Kennedy was killed in Dallas 50 years ago, leaving behind a mourning nation and his gay best friend, Lem Billings.



In photos and excerpts from David Pitts's book Jack & Lem, we remember President John F. Kennedy through the lens of his lifelong friendship with Lem Billings. A historian wrote that after Kennedy’s assassination 50 years ago Billings was “probably the saddest of the Kennedy 'widows.’” Here is a look at their friendship.


Jack and Lem, Winter Term, Choate, 1934

“Lem was sixteen, and Jack was fifteen, when they met while working on the school yearbook at Choate School for Boys, the prestigious New England preparatory school located in Wallingford, Conn. ... From all accounts it was instant friendship. They were bound together by a love of fun and practical jokes, resentment of Choate, and envy of their higher-achieving elder siblings — Joe, Jack's brother, and Josh, Lem's brother." (Page 4)