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Jack Kemp (1935 - 2009)

9th U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development,
Former AFL Football Player

Jack Kemp is co-director of Empower America, a public policy and advocacy organization he co-founded in 1993 with William Bennett and Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick. Empower America is dedicated to expanding freedom and democratic capitalism, promoting policies to expand economic growth and entrepreneurship for our nation, and advancing social policies that empower people. It seeks to bridge the gap between the array of think tanks that produce white papers on public policy issues and the actual enactment of policy.

Prior to founding Empower America, he served for four years as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. He was recognized by many for providing innovative leadership in that role. He was the first and strongest advocate of Enterprise Zones to encourage entrepreneurship and job creation in urban America. He was also a strong advocate of expanding home ownership among the poor through resident ownership and management of public housing.

He was the Republican Nominee for Vice President of the United States in 1996.

In 1995, he served as chairman of the National Commission on Economic Growth and Tax Reform.

Before his appointment to a Cabinet position, he represented the Buffalo area and western New York in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1971 to 1989. He also served for seven years as chairman of the House Republican Conference.

Prior to serving in public office, Kemp served in the United States Army Reserve (1958-1962 - active duty, 1958) and was a professional football quarterback for 13 years. He was captain of the San Diego Chargers from 1960 to 1962. He was also captain of the Buffalo Bills, a team he helped lead to the American Football League (AFL) championship in 1964 and 1965, when he was named the league's most valuable player. In addition, he co-founded the AFL Players Association and was five times elected its president.

He was born, raised and educated in Los Angeles, California. He and his wife Joanne are graduates of Occidental College. Currently residing in Bethesda, Maryland, they have four children and twelve grandchildren.