1993 Horatio Alger Award Winner
"Be a leader… and never, never give up."
Born in Los Angeles in 1935, Jack Kemp was the third in a family of four boys. His father was a truck driver who eventually owned a small trucking business. As a youth, Kemp worked part time for his father's trucking firm, saving his earnings to help pay for his college education.
He attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, where he majored in physical education and minored in history. He was the quarterback for his college team and led all other small-college quarterbacks in passing in 1956. After graduating from college in 1957, Kemp signed with the Los Angeles Chargers and led the AFL in passing that year. He was traded to the Buffalo Bills and helped the team win two successive AFL championships in 1964 and 1965, the year he was voted the League's Most Valuable Player. Later that year, he co-founded the American Football League Players Association and served as its president for five years.
In 1970, Kemp retired from football and ran a successful campaign for Congress. He served a total of nine terms, representing the Buffalo area and western New York for 18 years in the U. S. House of Representatives. During that time, he served as chairman of the House Republican Conference, a post he held for seven years.
He served in the administration of George H. W. Bush as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 1989 to 1993. His leadership in the department encouraged entrepreneurship and job creation in impoverished neighborhoods and expanded homeownership among the poor through resident management and ownership of public housing. In 1996, Kemp was the vice presidential nominee for the Republican Party, running alongside Senator Bob Dole against Bill Clinton.
Kemp was the founder and chairman of Kemp Partners, a strategic consulting firm that helped clients achieve both business and public policy goals.* Deceased