Jack Kemp, football star and politician, dies
Jack Kemp, the former pro quarterback who turned fame on the gridiron into a career in national politics and a crusade for lower taxes died shortly after 6 p.m. Saturday. Kemp died at his home in Bethesda, Md., in the Washington suburbs, friends said.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
With that loss, the Republican bowed out of political office, but not out of politics. In speaking engagements and a syndicated column, he continued to advocate for the tax reform and supply-side policies — the idea that the more taxes are cut the more the economy will grow — that he pioneered.
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."
Praise rolled in from fellow politicians.
Former President George W. Bush expressed his sorrow after hearing of Kemp's death.
"Laura and I are saddened by the death of Jack Kemp," he said. "Jack will be remembered for his significant contributions to the Reagan revolution and his steadfast dedication to conservative principles during his long and distinguished career in public service. Jack's wife Joanne and the rest of the Kemp family are in our thoughts and prayers."
Kemp's rapid and wordy style made the enthusiastic speaker with the neatly side-parted white hair a favorite on the lecture circuit, and a millionaire.
His style didn't win over everyone. In his memoirs, former Vice President Dan Quayle wrote that at Cabinet meetings, Bush would be irked by Kemp's habit of going off on tangents and not making "any discernible point."