Jack Kemp, Football Player And Politician, Dead

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Jack Kemp, the pro-quarterback turned Republican heavyweight, has died.

He first gained national attention in the early '60s, playing for the San Diego Chargers. But it was with the Buffalo Bills that he won two American Football Championships, in 1964 and 65.

His popularity on the football field helped catapult him into politics. Kemp won a Buffalo-area congressional seat in 1970.

He served in the House for nine terms, where he worked to cut federal taxes and to broaden the Republican Party. In 1988, Kemp ran for president.

He later dropped out of the race, but the man who was elected, George H.W. Bush, offered him a cabinet position as secretary of housing and urban development. There, he pushed for urban renewal and supported tenant ownership in public housing projects.

"I think it's immoral to preach democracy and capitalism in Eastern Europe and not allow it to work in East New York or East St. Louis or eastern L.A.," he said.

In 1996, Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole picked Kemp as his running mate — a choice celebrated by party conservatives.

They didn't win, but Kemp was a tireless campaigner throughout — often drawing on his football career when things seemed rough politically.

Kemp's office announced that he had cancer in January. He died Saturday night at his home in Bethesda, Maryland. He was 73.



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