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You said that this was the story of a friendship that crossed sexual orientation lines, which I think is really an interesting element of it, but talk a little bit about the depth of this friendship. First of all, there were a series of bonding events early on.

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Then I then compiled a list of people to call, people to interview that I thought might know more.

I also set about trying to track down documents in various institutions — most notably the John F.

Yes, that’s how Bobby ended up with control to most of the materials.

Lem knew Bobby from when he was very young, of course, Lem being an intimate of the Kennedys, and when Lem died in 1981 his belongings passed into the possession of Robert F. Some of his things went into the possession of his neice, Sally Carpenter.

So if I was to guess, and this is purely a guess, I think Bobby Kennedy and the other Kennedys knew this story was going to come out sooner or later.

They probably checked me out — I’m sure they did — and were more willing to trust someone with a liberal political bent than some conservative writer who might try to use it in a sensational way. I did talk to a friend of Bobby Kennedy when I was trying to get these materials and when I was trying to talk to Bobby, by the name of Blake Fleetwood, who’s a blogger himself on the Huffington Post. He told me that the Kennedys have been burned so many times now in these conservative times by writers, they just are very very suspicious of writers, period.

Jack and Lem met while at prep school in the 1930s and from that point on were inseparable until the day Jack Kennedy was killed. Pitts also combed through hundreds of photographs never seen by the public, many of which he was allowed to publish in the book, and interviewed anyone and everyone he could who knew Jack and Lem so he could tell, as accurately as possible, the story of a president and his gay best friend.

This well-told account paints a tender, moving portrait of what the author calls “an extraordinary friendship,” the details of which enchant and move the reader.

Kennedy Library and the Massachusetts Historical Society.

And on the latter, I hit a big brick wall early on in the project, which is why it took so long.

It’s not about this story in particular, it’s about any story.

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