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.

BY Advocate Contributors

November 22 2013 5:00 AM ET

Jack and Lem on leave, Palm Beach, 1944

“It's not clear whether Lem wanted to join the navy and see combat because Jack had, or because he wanted it for himself. Lem's sister, Lucretia, who knew Jack as well, said, 'I think he had to do something because Jack was doing so much.' Either way, it was a courageous move in view of the casualties the navy was suffering in the Pacific at the time. 'It was very hard for him, but he wanted to do it and he stuck with it,' Lucretia added. When Jack reached home, the two friends greeted each other like there was no tomorrow.” (Page 100)

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