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