Jack French Kemp

Kemp, Jack French, 1935–2009, American politician and government official, b. Los Angeles. He played football while at Occidental College (grad. 1957) and was a professional quarterback for 13 seasons (1957–69), primarily with the San Diego Chargers and the Buffalo Bills in the American Football League; when he retired he led the AFL in career passing yards. He also was a cofounder of the American Football League Players Association and its president from 1965 to 1970. A politically active conservative Republican while still a football player, Kemp was elected a U.S. representative from New York in 1970, serving in the House until 1989. He attained national prominence as a champion of supply-side economics and urban enterprise zones. He cowrote the 1981 Kemp-Roth tax cut bill and ran unsuccessfully for the 1988 Republican presidential nomination. Kemp also tried, with a relative lack of success, to attract African Americans and other minorities to the Republican party ranks. From 1989 to 1993 Kemp was secretary of housing and urban development under President George H. W. Bush. Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole chose Kemp as his running mate in 1996; they lost to the incumbent Clinton-Gore Democratic ticket.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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