July 17, 2019
Steven Gillon recalled his last phone call with John F. Kennedy Jr. before his plane crashed 20 years ago: “Stevie, I’ll take care of you.”
During his interview for A&E’s Biography: JFK Jr. The Final Year, JFK Jr.’s friend, Steven Gillon, shared the conversation he had with the former first son of America before his plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, and brought him close to tears.
THE LAST CALL
His first words upon calling long-time friend, Gillon, who underwent a “health crisis,” were: “Stevie, it’s John.” Gillon worked at the University of Oklahoma at that time and had experienced a “health crisis,” which JFK Jr. knew about.
John F. Kennedy Jr. | Source: Getty Images
“For better or worse, my family is well-connected in New York medical circles. If you need anything, you let me know,” he told Gillon over the phone. “You just let me know. Stevie, I’ll take care of you.”
After a week, the horrible news of Kennedy’s plane’s disappearance reached Gillon. The investigation later revealed the aircraft crashed into the Atlantic Ocean where all three passengers: Kennedy, his wife, Carolyn, and his sister-in-law, Lauren, died.
Kennedy’s life and legacy resonate in the book, including his poor judgment of the inclement weather before his flight that eventually led to his demise.
John F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife, Carolyn. | Source: Getty Images
“John was a wonderful friend,” Gillon continued. “All I could think about is this guy who, a week earlier, was telling me he would take care of me -- and I could do nothing for him.”
‘AMERICA’S RELUCTANT PRINCE’
The two were acquainted in 1981 while Gillon worked as a teaching assistant and Kennedy attended school as a student at Brown University. Gillon became a good friend since and later wrote a book about Kennedy’s life, “The Life of John F. Kennedy: America’s Reluctant Prince.”
Kennedy’s life and legacy resonate in the book, including his poor judgment of the inclement weather before his flight that eventually led to his demise. The author believed that his friend should have waited for the weather to get better, instead of risking three lives.
Apart from the tragedy, Gillon also focused on the two loves Kennedy lived: the first son of America’s 35th President and a regular man. He died at the age of 38 with “promises that went unfulfilled.”