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.



Jack and Lem in a Palm Beach photo booth just before their European tour, 1937

“Jack and Lem's summer in Europe began on July 1, 1937. Joe generously paid for half the cost of Lem's ticket on the way over, saying Lem could pay at least part of it back when he graduated from Princeton. 'I borrowed the other half from an inheritance I was about to receive from my grandmother after I graduated from college,' remembered Lem. Both boys kept diaries on the trip, although Lem's was more of a scrapbook. It contained scores of photographs of himself and Jack in Europe, as well as a handwritten narrative. It would go on to become one of his most prized possessions.” (Page 53)