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Jack Kemp

Jack KempAKA Jack French Kemp

Born: 13-Jul-1935
Birthplace: Los Angeles, CA
Died: 2-May-2009
Location of death: Bethesda, MD
Cause of death: Cancer - unspecified

Gender: Male
Religion: Presbyterian
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Politician, Football
Party Affiliation: Republican

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: American politican, football player

Military service: US Army (1958-62)

A quarterback who played 13 years of professional football, Jack Kemp entered politics in the 1960s, volunteering for Barry Goldwater's unsucessful presidential campaign. In 1970 he ran for and was elected to the US House, where he served until 1989. He was a staunch believer in supply-side economics, free markets, and low taxes.

In 1988 he made an attempt to become the Republican nominee for President, but a disappointing 4th-place finish on Super Tuesday put an end to any such possibility. The winner of that election, George H.W. Bush, appointed Kemp Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Lackluster support from the Republican administration and tiny budget appropriations rendered his stay at HUD largely impotent, even as the 1992 Los Angeles riots put national focus on housing and other social issues.

Despite a long marriage and four children, Kemp was dogged with whispers of alleged homosexuality, which as a conservative Republican, outspoken in his opposition to gay rights undoubtedly would have derailed his career. In 1986 he was asked on The Today Show to "categorically deny" being gay, and did so immediately. In 1989 the FBI made Kemp's sexuality a key factor in a background check when Kemp was under consideration for the HUD post, and the Bureau's official report stated that "these allegations were well investigated and found to be without basis in fact or truth".

In 1996, nominee Bob Dole chose Kemp to be his running mate. Far more progressive than Dole, it was thought that Kemp's views on taxation and social issues would balance Dole's desire for a balanced budget and more conservative social policy. The ticket might have had a better chance if Kemp and Dole's positions were reversed. Bill Clinton and Al Gore won the election handily, carrying 379 electoral votes to Dole/Kemp's 159. Had H. Ross Perot not run, it would have changed the numbers somewhat, but not the outcome.

After retirement from office, Kemp served on a number of corporate boards and remained somewhat active in Republican politics. He founded and was Chairman of Kemp Partners, a consulting firm. In 1993 he co-founded Empower America, which in 2004 became FreedomWorks. After he disassociated himself from FreedomWorks in 2005, it sponsored many of the "Tea Party" events and promoted disruptions of health care town hall meetings in 2009. In early 2009, it was announced that Kemp was battling an unspecified cancer, and in May he died at his home in Bethesda, Maryland.

Father: Paul Robert Kemp
Mother: Frances Elizabeth Pope
Wife: Joanne Main (m. 19-Jul-1958, two sons, two daughters)
Son: Jeff Kemp (NFL quarterback)
Daughter: Jennifer
Son: Jimmy Kemp (CFL player)
Daughter: Judith

    High School: Fairfax High School, Los Angeles, CA (1953)
    University: BA, Occidental College (1957)
    University: California State University Long Beach

    US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (1989-93)
    US Congressman, New York 31st (1983-89)
    US Congressman, New York 38th (1973-83)
    US Congressman, New York 39th (1971-73)
    Member of the Board of CNL Hotels & Resorts
    Member of the Board of Hawk Corporation
    Member of the Board of IDT (-2006)
    Member of the Board of InPhonic
    Member of the Board of Oracle (1995-96, brief intermission, 1996-2009)
    Member of the Board of Six Flags (2006-09)
    Alexis de Tocqueville Institution Co-Chairman
    Alfalfa Club 1978
    America-Israel Friendship League Board of Directors
    Bohemian Grove
    Caring Institute Board of Trustees (Honorary)
    Citizens for the Republic
    Competitive Enterprise Institute Distinguished Fellow
    Council for National Policy
    Dole-Kemp '96 Candidate
    Elizabeth Dole Committee
    Empower America Director
    Foundation for the Defense of Democracies Board of Directors
    Free Enterprise Fund Policy Council Co-Chairman
    FreedomWorks Board of Directors
    Freemasonry 33rd degree (awarded 1986)
    Habitat for Humanity International Chairman, More than Houses Campaign
    Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs Advisory Board
    Libby Legal Defense Trust Advisory Committee
    John McCain 2008
    John O. Marsh Institute Honorary Member, Advisory Committee
    The Leadership Circle PAC
    Overcoming Obstacles Board of Advisors
    Positive Coaching Alliance National Advisory Board
    Reagan-Bush '84
    Ryan for Congress
    Shriners
    Steele for Maryland
    Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity
    Presidential Medal of Freedom 12-Aug-2009 (posthumous)
    Draft Deferment 1961
    Funeral: Richard Nixon (1994)
    House Banking Scandal 1 overdrawn check
    Risk Factors: Cancer

    SPORTS FRANCHISE HISTORY
    Pittsburgh Steelers 1957
    Los Angeles Chargers 1960
    San Diego Chargers 1961
    Buffalo Bills 1962
    San Diego Chargers 1962
    Buffalo Bills 1963-69

Rotten Library Page:
Jack Kemp

Author of books:
An American Renaissance (1979)


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