152 Facts About Jack Kemp


Jack French Kemp was an American politician and a professional football player.


Jack Kemp was the Republican Party's vice presidential nominee in the 1996 election, as the running mate of Bob Dole; they lost to incumbent president Bill Clinton and vice president Al Gore.


Jack Kemp played briefly in the National Football League and the Canadian Football League, but became a star in the American Football League.


Jack Kemp served as captain of both the San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills and earned the AFL Most Valuable Player award in 1965 after leading the Bills to a second consecutive championship.


Jack Kemp played in the AFL for all 10 years of its existence, appeared in its All-Star game seven times, played in its championship game five times, and set many of the league's career passing records.


Jack Kemp co-founded the AFL Players Association, for which he served five terms as president.


Jack Kemp's positions spanned the social spectrum, ranging from his conservative opposition to abortion to his more libertarian stances advocating immigration reform.


Jack Kemp promoted American football and advocated for retired professional football players.


Jack Kemp was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 by President Barack Obama.


Born, raised, and educated in Los Angeles, Jack Kemp was the third of four sons of Frances Elizabeth and Paul Robert Jack Kemp Sr.


Jack Kemp grew up in the heavily Jewish Wilshire district of West Los Angeles, but his tight-knit middle-class family attended the Church of Christ, Scientist.


Jack Kemp attended Melrose Avenue's Fairfax High School, which was, at the time, known for its high concentration of both Jewish students and children of celebrities.


Jack Kemp's classmates included musician Herb Alpert, baseball pitcher Larry Sherry, and academic Judith A Reisman.


Jack Kemp selected Occidental because its football team used professional formations and plays, which he hoped would help him to become a professional quarterback.


At Occidental, Jack Kemp was a record-setting javelin hurler and played several positions on the football team: quarterback, defensive back, place kicker, and punter.


Jack Kemp graduated from Occidental in 1957 and married Joanne Main, his college sweetheart, after she graduated from Occidental in 1958.


Significantly for a man with his demanding schedule, Jack Kemp never missed one of their games as children or in college.


Joanne Jack Kemp once suffered a miscarriage, which Jack Kemp later said made him re-evaluate the sanctity of human life and affirmed his opposition to abortion.


Jack Kemp was a 33rd degree Freemason in the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction.


Jack Kemp spent 1957 with the Pittsburgh Steelers and 1958 on the taxi squads of the San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants.


The Giants hosted the NFL championship game, known as the "Greatest Game Ever Played" and the first overtime NFL playoff game, but, as a third-string quarterback member of the taxi squad, Jack Kemp did not take the field.


In 1958, Jack Kemp joined the United States Army Reserve and he served a year on active duty as a private to complete his initial training.


Jack Kemp was a member of the San Diego-based 977th Transportation Company from 1958 to 1962.


When his unit was activated for the Berlin Crisis of 1961, Jack Kemp received a medical exemption for his chronically separated left shoulder.


In 1959, Jack Kemp played one game for the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League, which made him ineligible for the NFL in 1959.


Jack Kemp signed as a free agent with the AFL's Los Angeles Chargers.


Jack Kemp finished second in the league to Frank Tripucka in passing attempts, completions, and yards, led the AFL in yards per completion and times sacked, and finished one rushing touchdown short of the league lead.


In 1961, San Diego Union editor Jack Kemp Murphy convinced Barron Hilton to move the Chargers from Los Angeles to San Diego.


Jack Kemp again finished second in passing yards.


In 1962, Jack Kemp broke his middle finger two games into the season and was unable to play.


Jack Kemp persuaded his doctors to set his broken finger around a football, so that his grip would not be affected once the finger healed.


Buffalo Bills coach Lou Saban noticed that Jack Kemp was available and claimed him for a $100 waiver fee on September 25,1962, in what sportswriter Randy Schultz has called one of the biggest bargains in professional football history.


Injuries, including the broken finger, kept Jack Kemp from playing for most of 1962.


That season, Jack Kemp received a military draft notice for service in the Vietnam War but was granted a draft waiver because of a knee problem.


Jack Kemp played only four games for Buffalo in 1962, but made the AFL All-Star team.


Jack Kemp again placed second in passing attempts, completions, and yards, and he finished second to teammate Cookie Gilchrist in rushing touchdowns.


Jack Kemp was said to be the "clubhouse lawyer" for the Bills because of his role in mediating conflicts.


Jack Kemp managed the politics of his quarterback battle with Lamonica, who engineered four winning touchdown drives in the Bills' first seven games.


Jack Kemp was the first and only Professional Football player to pass for three touchdowns in the first quarter of a season-opening game, against the Kansas City Chiefs in 1964, until the record was tied but not broken, 47 years later in 2011 by Aaron Rodgers.


Jack Kemp led the league in yards per attempt and finished one rushing touchdown short of the league lead, which was shared by Gilchrist and Sid Blanks.


Not long after, Jack Kemp played a key role in an off the field decision.


Jack Kemp was part of the All-Star Game played three weeks after the Championship Game alongside teammates such as Cookie Gilchrist and Ernie Warlick, with the game scheduled to be played in New Orleans, Louisiana.


However, Gilchrist led a movement of African American players wanting to boycott the game due to experiencing discrimination by cab drivers and others during their time in New Orleans; Jack Kemp saw this firsthand when Gilchrist, and Warlick were not allowed to share a cab with him.


Jack Kemp attended a boycott meeting and alongside Ron Mix convinced the white players to go with the idea of a boycott.


Jack Kemp finished the season second in the league in pass completions.


Jack Kemp won the Associated Press award and the Championship Game Most Valuable Player award.


Jack Kemp was named an AFL All-Star for the sixth consecutive year.


Jack Kemp was named an AFL All-Star in 1969 for the seventh time in the league's 10 years.


Jack Kemp advocated recognition of the league, and in its last year, 1969, lobbied Pete Rozelle to have AFL teams wear an AFL patch to honor it.


Jack Kemp led Buffalo to the AFL playoffs four straight years, three consecutive Eastern Division titles and two straight AFL Championships.


Jack Kemp led the league in career passes attempted, completions, and yards gained passing.


Jack Kemp played in five of the AFL's 10 Championship Games, and holds the same career records for championships.


Jack Kemp is second in many other championship game categories, including career and single-game passer rating.


Jack Kemp was the only AFL quarterback to be listed as a starter all 10 years of the league's existence and one of only 20 players to serve all 10 of those years.


Jack Kemp is a member of the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame and the Buffalo Bills' Wall of Fame.


Jack Kemp co-founded the AFL Players Association with Tom Addison of the Boston Patriots, and was elected its president five times.


Jack Kemp's founding of and involvement in the players' union contributed to his frequent siding with the Democrats on labor issues later in his career.


In 1960 and 1961, Jack Kemp was an editorial assistant to San Diego Union editor and future Richard Nixon aide Herb Klein.


Subsequently, Jack Kemp became a volunteer in both Barry Goldwater's 1964 presidential campaign and Ronald Reagan's successful 1966 California gubernatorial campaign.


Jack Kemp was a voracious reader, and his political beliefs were founded in early readings of Goldwater's The Conscience of a Conservative, Ayn Rand's novels such as The Fountainhead, and Friedrich von Hayek's The Constitution of Liberty.


Jack Kemp brought from his football career a belief in racial equality which came from playing football with black teammates.


Jack Kemp was described as having the charisma of the earlier John F Kennedy.


The Nixon aides encouraged Jack Kemp to endorse the Cambodian invasion and to oppose criticism of Nixon's war policies in order to firm up Jack Kemp's support from military hawks.


Jack Kemp championed several Chicago school and supply-side economics issues, including economic growth, free markets, free trade, tax simplification and lower tax rates on both employment and investment income.


Jack Kemp was a long-time proponent of the flat tax.


Jack Kemp defended the use of anti-Communist contra forces in Central America, supported the gold standard, spoke for civil rights legislation, opposed abortion, and was the first lawmaker to popularize enterprise zones, which he supported to foster entrepreneurship and job creation and expand homeownership among public housing tenants.


Jack Kemp differed from Rockefeller Republicans and earlier combatants such as Lyndon Johnson by supporting incentive-based systems instead of traditional social programs.


The article explained allegations of homosexual activity among staffers in Ronald Reagan's Sacramento office in 1967; Jack Kemp was not implicated.


Jack Kemp considered running for Governor of New York in 1982 but ultimately decided to stay in the House.


Jack Kemp had his first encounter with supply-side economics in 1976, when The Wall Street Journal's Jude Wanniski interviewed him at his Congressional office.


Jack Kemp questioned Wanniski all day and was eventually converted to University of Southern California professor Arthur Laffer's supply-side discipline.


Thereafter, Jack Kemp espoused supply-side economics freely, and in 1978 he and Sen.


Jack Kemp has been credited as responsible for supply-side economics' inclusion in President Reagan's economic plan, although at the time of Robert Mundell's Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics recognition some attributed much of the credit to Mundell, Laffer, Robert Bartley, and Wanniski.


An early Jack Kemp tax reform attempt was an unsuccessful 1979 proposal to index tax brackets for cost of living fluctuations, which was incorporated in Reagan's 1980 package.


Jack Kemp co-sponsored a legislative attempt at enterprise zones in 1980.


One of Jack Kemp's more trying times as a congressman came in 1982 when Reagan decided to reverse the tax cuts and promote tax increases.


In 1983, Jack Kemp opposed the policies of chairman Volcker on multiple occasions.


Jack Kemp addressed the convention on July 15 at the 1980 Republican National Convention in Detroit, Michigan and on August 21 at the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, Texas.


Jack Kemp delivered remarks on free enterprise zones at the 1992 Republican National Convention in Houston, Texas.


Jack Kemp was a critic of association football, known as soccer in the United States.


Jack Kemp noted that about half of his grandchildren play or have played organized soccer and claimed to have "changed" his position on soccer.


Jack Kemp even attended the 1994 FIFA World Cup with longtime soccer fan Henry Kissinger, although he wrote during the 2006 FIFA World Cup that soccer can be interesting to watch but is still a "boring game".


In 1988, if Jack Kemp had won his campaign for the United States Presidency, it would have made him the first person to move from the United States House of Representatives to the White House since James Garfield.


Except for a select few cognoscenti, the general public did not recognize Jack Kemp's leadership ability, although he was a successful man of ideas.


However, as much as Jack Kemp wanted to minimize government's role, he acknowledged that moves toward a more laissez-faire system should be well-thought out.


Candidates from each party expressed opinions on both sides of the personal privacy issue, and Jack Kemp rejected the Times inquiry as "beneath the dignity of a presidential candidate".


Jack Kemp's campaign was on an early positive course with many key early endorsements in New Hampshire, but Bush held the support of much of the Republican establishment in New York.


Jack Kemp was accompanied on the trip by 50-plus US conservative leaders.


In late 1987, political pundits saw that Jack Kemp needed to gain support from the far right on non-social issues.


Jack Kemp was among the majority of Republican candidates in opposition to Reagan's INF Treaty agreement with the Soviet Union's Mikhail Gorbachev despite general Republican voter approval of the treaty.


Jack Kemp used a somewhat negative advertising campaign that seemed to have the intended initial effect of boosting him to serious contention.


However, the scandals of Reagan's Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Samuel Pierce and the neglect of the president were obstacles from the start, and Jack Kemp was unsuccessful at either of his major initiatives: enacting enterprise zones and promoting public housing tenant ownership.


Jack Kemp halted or revamped certain programs and developed an antidrug offensive, which enabled him to collaborate with Director of the National Drug Control Policy Bill Bennett.


Jack Kemp supported "Operation Clean Sweep" and similar movements to prohibit firearm possession in public housing.


President Bush avoided federal antipoverty issues, and instead used Jack Kemp to speak on the administration's low priority conservative activist agenda.


Bush's contribution to the urban agenda had been volunteerism through his "Points of Light" theme, and Jack Kemp received stronger support for his ideas from presidential candidate Bill Clinton.


Jack Kemp cited lingering effects from a knee injury as the reason he had to fly first class at government expense as the Housing Secretary.


In 1992, with H Ross Perot mounting a formidable campaign, Kemp was again considered a vice presidential candidate.


Jack Kemp was partly at fault for not achieving either of his primary goals because he did not get along with the rest of the Cabinet.


At one point, Jack Kemp told James Baker, White House Chief of Staff, that Bush's best chance to win reelection was to dump his economic advisors in dramatic fashion.


Jack Kemp was respected within the party for opposing Bush, and towards the end of Bush's administration insiders recognized his value.


Jack Kemp was a bit of a surprise to stay in the Bush Cabinet for the duration of his presidency, and he was described as one of the few Bush Administration members who would take tough stands.


Jack Kemp did not expect to be retained if the Republicans were reelected in 1992, and some pundits agreed with him.


Jack Kemp gave public speeches for $35,000 apiece between his time as Housing Secretary and his vice presidential nomination.


Jack Kemp was considered the star of the 1992 Republican National Convention.


In 1992 and 1993, Jack Kemp was considered the favorite or co-favorite for the 1996 Presidential nomination.


At the time of the 1994 mid-term elections, Jack Kemp was widely anticipated to announce his candidacy for 1996, and his supporters wanted a formal announcement by the end of the year.


In January 1995, Jack Kemp's stated reason for not entering the 1996 Republican Party presidential primaries was that his personal beliefs were out of balance with the contemporary Republican political landscape: Jack Kemp opposed term limits, he always preferred tax cuts to anything resembling a balanced budget amendment and, unlike most Republicans, favored federal incentives to combat urban poverty.


In 1995, Gloria Borger noted Jack Kemp was not in step with the 1994 Contract with America.


Jack Kemp noted a distaste for the vast fundraising necessary for a presidential campaign.


In 1995, while the world awaited the campaign decision announcement by Colin Powell, Jack Kemp had positive thoughts on the prospect of such a campaign.


Jack Kemp championed many issues including the flat tax, which he formally proposed after he was appointed.


Forbes had tried to get Jack Kemp to run in the 1996 campaign, but Jack Kemp declined and in fact endorsed Forbes just as Dole was closing in on the nomination, and just after Dole gained the endorsements of former contenders Lamar Alexander and Richard Lugar.


Jack Kemp was seen as a means to attract conservative and libertarian-minded voters like those of tough nomination-challengers Forbes and Pat Buchanan.


Jack Kemp was chosen over Connie Mack, John McCain, and Carroll Campbell, and it is assumed that this was partly because Jack Kemp had several former staffers in influential positions as Dole's senior advisors.


Dole had had a long history of representing the budget-balancing faction of the Party, while Jack Kemp had had a long history of representing the tax-cutting advocates, and Jack Kemp's tax-cutting fiscal track record was seen as the perfect fit for the ticket.


When Jack Kemp became Dole's running mate in 1996, they appeared on the cover of the August 19,1996 issue of Time magazine, but the pair barely edged out a story on the reported discovery of extraterrestrial life on Mars, which was so close to being the cover story that Time inset it on the cover and wrote about how difficult the decision was.


Dole was a longstanding conservative deficit hawk who had even voted against John F Kennedy's tax cuts, while Kemp was an outspoken supply-sider.


Once Reagan was elected, Dole was the Senate Finance Committee chairman who Jack Kemp claims resisted the plan every step of the way.


Jack Kemp was vocal in his opposition to the reforms and even penned an op-ed piece in The New York Times, which enraged Dole.


In meetings with the president that excluded Dole, Jack Kemp reworked the budget to exclude crucial Social Security cutbacks.


However, Jack Kemp was able to use the nomination to promote his opposition to Clinton's partial birth abortion ban veto.


However, in general, the opinion was that Jack Kemp was helpful to the ticket's chances of catching Bill Clinton, and Jack Kemp's advocacy gave a clear picture of the tax reforms that would likely occur on the condition of a successful campaign.


Jack Kemp was seen as likely to influence several types of swing voters, especially those of his native state of California, and even the Democrats feared Jack Kemp might lure voters.


However, Farrakhan was perceived as being anti-Semitic, and Jack Kemp was considered an ally of Republican Jews.


The Gore victory was not a surprise since Jack Kemp had been outmatched by Gore in previous encounters, and Gore had a reputation as an experienced and vaunted debater.


Jack Kemp was a director for Hawk Corporation, IDT Corporation, CNL Hotels and Resorts, InPhonic, Cyrix Corporation and American Bankers Insurance Group.


Jack Kemp briefly served on the board of Oracle Corporation, whose CEO was his friend Larry Ellison, in 1996, but resigned when he ran for vice president; he was named to the board of Six Flags, Inc in December 2005.


Jack Kemp opted not to stand for re-election to IDT's board in 2006.


Jack Kemp served on the Habitat for Humanity board of directors, and served on the board of Atlanta-based software maker EzGov Inc Kemp served on the board of directors of Election.


Jack Kemp was a business partner with Edra and Tim Blixseth promoting membership in the elite private ski and golf Yellowstone Club.


Jack Kemp was the founder and chairman of Jack Kemp Partners, a strategic consulting firm that helps clients achieve both business and public policy goals.


On March 25,2003, Jack Kemp was selected as chairman of the board of Directors of USA Football, a national advocacy group for amateur football created by the National Football League and the NFL Players Association.


Jack Kemp continued his political advocacy for reform of taxation, Social Security and education.


Jack Kemp advocated for retired NFL veterans on issues such as cardiovascular screening, assisted living, disability benefits, and the 2007 joint replacement program.


In 1997, when Gingrich was embroiled in a House ethics controversy, Jack Kemp served as an intermediary between Dole and Gingrich to save the Republican Party leader.


In June 2004, Jack Kemp rescinded his support of Vernon Robinson for Congress due to the latter's views on immigration laws, citing Robinson's choice to run "as a Pat Buchanan Republican".


On January 6,2008, Jack Kemp endorsed McCain in the 2008 Republican presidential primaries shortly before the New Hampshire primary, which surprised conservative Republican tax cutters.


Jack Kemp prepared an open letter to Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham and other conservative talk show hosts on McCain's behalf to quell their dissatisfactions.


In February 2008, Jack Kemp was associated with a group called "Defense of Democracies" that was advocating an electronic surveillance bill that failed in the House of Representatives.


Jack Kemp was a member of the advisory council of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation and served as Co-Chair of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission Cabinet.


Jack Kemp was a board member for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which is named after Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive back Ronnie Lott, and is awarded annually to college football's Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year.


On January 7,2009, Jack Kemp's office issued a statement announcing that he had cancer; the type of cancer and the anticipated treatment were not announced.


However, he continued to serve as chairman of his Washington-based Jack Kemp Partners consulting firm and continued his involvement in charitable and political work until his death.


On May 2,2009, Jack Kemp died from cancer at his home in Bethesda, Maryland, at the age of 73.


Jack Kemp is remembered alongside George Wallace and William Jennings Bryan for influencing history by changing the direction of presidential elections despite their defeats.


Jack Kemp has been described as a beacon of economic conservatism and a hero for his urban agenda.


Jack Kemp was considered the leader of the progressive conservatives who are socially conservative, but avoid protectionist fiscal and trade policy.


Jack Kemp was a member of the federal committee to promote Martin Luther King Jr.


Jack Kemp boasted of having Democratic friends such as William H Gray III, Charles B Rangel and Robert Garcia.


Jack Kemp didn't believe in limits to growth, a blind spot shared by any politicians of his era and which prompted him to dismiss the 1991 Report of the United Nations Population Fund as "nonsense".


Senator Arlen Specter in a severe rebuke of federal governmental policy, stated just one day after Jack Kemp died of cancer, that Jack Kemp would still be alive if the federal government had done a better job funding cancer research.