Details about John F KENNEDY (President): Earliest Known Signed PhotoSee original listing
23 Jan, 2015 16:39:07 GMT
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Allston, Massachusetts, United States
[History] Kennedy, John F. (1917-1963) .
The Earliest Known Signed Photograph of Kennedy, inscribed in high school to his lifelong best friend, Lem.
Choate Graduation Portrait of John F. Kennedy inscribed "To Lemmer [Kirk Lemoyne Billings] the gayest son I know -In memory of two tense years and in hopes of many more- your old Pal and supporter! Ken" also signed by the photographer and dated 1935. 7 1/2 x 5 inches. 13 1/2 x 10 inches framed.
Already displaying his movie-star good looks, it is easy to see in the 18-year-old Kennedy's face and playful, somewhat cryptic and charged inscription, the face and character that would become the now-familiar President Kennedy. Of the thousands of signed JFK photos known to exist, this is the earliest. It is also a most remarkable testament to the in some ways highly surprising fact that Kennedy was able to ignore the mores of the day and keep such a close association with a closeted gay man.
"I’m not that kind of boy,” Jack had angrily written to Lem after his friend made a sexual advance early in their friendship. But Jack didn’t end the relationship. From the time John F. Kennedy and Kirk LeMoyne “Lem” Billings met at Choate - the 'tense' years of the photograph's inscription - until the President’s assassination thirty years later, Jack and Lem remained best friends. Lem was a virtual fixture in the Kennedy family who even had his own room at the White House. The history of their friendship is detailed in the book "Jack and Lem: John F. Kennedy and Lem Billings: The Untold Story of an Extraordinary Friendship," (David Pitts, Da Capo Press, 2008) and the present photograph is described in detail in this volume.
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