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One year ago: Paul Fay

September 23, 2010 |  6:00 am


Paul Fay was a longtime friend of President Kennedy who wrote about their relationship in his 1966 book "The Pleasure of His Company" and served as undersecretary of the Navy in Kennedy's administration. Fay died one year ago.

Fay met the future president in 1942 in Rhode Island. Their first meeting, in a story befitting the Kennedy legend, was during a touch football game that Kennedy joined in progress. Fay was there for torpedo-boat training and Kennedy was his instructor.

Both served in World War II, and both survived confrontations with the Japanese. Kennedy's boat was struck in the darkness by a Japanese destroyer and sank, and Fay's boat was struck by a torpedo. Fay later received a Bronze Star. The two men became close while rooming together after the incidents.

In his book, Fay disclosed previously unknown details of the Kennedy's life, including the president's exasperation during the botched Bay of Pigs landing in 1961 and his mixed thoughts on getting married.

Fay's father, Paul B. Fay Sr., was president of Fay Improvement Co., which built roads and sewers throughout San Francisco. Fay returned to San Francisco after leaving government in 1965, taking over the business and eventually turning it into a consulting firm.

For more on President Kennedy's close friend and the secrets he revealed, read Paul Fay's obituary by The Times.

-- Michael Farr

Photo: Paul Fay spends Easter 1963 with President Kennedy in Palm Beach, Fla.