Jack Kemp, the former pro quarterback who turned fame on the gridiron into a career in national politics and a crusade for lower taxes, has died of cancer at age 73. Kemp was also active in the reverse mortgage industry by being a spokesperson and shareholder of Atlanta, GA based Generation Mortgage.
Family spokeswoman Marci Robinson said Kemp died shortly after 6 p.m. Saturday, surrounded by his family. Kemp died at his home in Bethesda, Md., in the Washington suburbs, friends said.
Kemp’s office announced in January that he had been diagnosed with an unspecified type of cancer which by then was in an advanced stage and had spread to several organs, former campaign adviser Edwin J. Feulner said. He did not know the origin of the cancer.
Kemp, a former quarterback for the Buffalo Bills, represented western New York for nine terms in Congress, leaving the House for an unsuccessful presidential bid in 1988. Eight years later, after serving a term as President George H.W. Bush’s housing secretary, he made it onto the national ticket as Bob Dole’s running-mate.
Feulner, president of the Heritage Foundation, a Kemp family friend and his former campaign deputy chief of staff, said Kemp’s legacy will be his compassion.
“The idea that all conservatives really should regroup around and identify with is that this is not an exclusive club,” Feulner said. “Freedom is for everybody. That’s what Jack Kemp really stood for.”
Generation Mortgage sent RMD the following statement:
Generation Mortgage joins the American public in sending our condolences to the family of Jack Kemp. We at Generation had the privilege to know and work with Jack since our company’s founding four years ago. He was a public servant in the truest sense, rising above partisanship in a way few of his peers could ever approach. He was also a pioneer of our industry as the HECM program got its start under his leadership of HUD. Jack Kemp will be missed by our company, our customers and our country.