Library of Congress to House Papers of Jack Kemp

The family of former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Republican congressman, vice presidential candidate and professional football player Jack F. Kemp (1935-2009) recently announced its intention to donate his papers to the Library of Congress.

The papers are currently on deposit at Pepperdine University. Kemp died on May 2, 2009, after a battle with cancer.

Born in Los Angeles, Kemp began playing professional football in 1957. He led the Buffalo Bills to American Football League championships in 1964 and 1965. Following his football career, he served nine terms in Congress (1971-1988) as a representative from New York and as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (1989-1993).

In 1988, Kemp mounted an unsuccessful bid for the presidency, losing the Republican primaries to George H.W. Bush. Once in office, Bush appointed Kemp to his cabinet as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), a position he held until 1993. Senator Bob Dole chose Kemp as his 1996 vice-presidential nominee, running against Bill Clinton and Al Gore.

The bulk of the collection covers Kemp’s 18 years in Congress, including records pertaining to Watergate and the Reagan administration’s economic agenda. The records of his bids for the presidency and vice-presidency are also included as are those from his tenure at HUD. Personal records include family photographs, coverage of his retirement from Congress and remembrances of his life and work in the aftermath of his death. His writings and a large personal library are also included, along with photographs and video from his football career.