May 3rd, 2009
09:02 AM ET
5 years ago

Former GOP VP candidate, congressman Kemp dies

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former congressman and Republican vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp died Saturday at age 73 after a battle with cancer, his family announced.

A onetime professional football player, Kemp served nine terms in Congress as a representative from New York and was former Sen. Bob Dole's running mate in 1996. He was a leading advocate of "supply-side" tax cuts, advancing the argument that cutting taxes would boost economic growth and yield more revenue for the federal government.

"The only way to oppose a bad idea is to replace it with a good idea, and I like to think that I have spent my life trying to promote good ideas," he told CNN in a 1996 interview.

Kemp "passed peacefully into the presence of the Lord" Sunday evening, a family statement said. He disclosed his illness in January.

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Filed under: Jack Kemp
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Dawn

    My condolences to the Kemp Family.

    May 3, 2009 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  2. KRN

    I had the honor of meeting him and having lunch with him about 22 years ago in Washinton. He was gracoius and a class act. He may have been a Republican but he was really one the last good guys.Godspeed Jack!

    May 3, 2009 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  3. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    As an Upstate new yorker Jack will be missed he was a class act, my thoughts and prayers are with the Kemp Family.

    May 3, 2009 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  4. Neil

    If Jack Kemp would have been President, we wouldn't be in the mess we're in right now.
    He was one politician you could trust. Committed. Courageous. A man of ideas. A man of Action.
    My condolences to his family.
    My condolences to his Party.

    May 3, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  5. Lauren

    >>>>He may have been a Republican but he was really one the last >>>>good guys

    THIS is what the media had done to this country,,,,,,

    Why in gods name can you not simply send condolences without bring up party politics. Why did it even have to be said about his being a Republican?

    May 3, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  6. ib

    Rest in peace Mr Kemp; you've earned it with the way you lived.

    May 3, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  7. delong

    Although I have been a life long Democrat, I had immense respect for Jack Kemp.

    He was an honest, straight talker who did not lower himself to the gutter mentality that most on the Right possess today.

    One of the last really great men in the Republican Party.

    The party would be much better with more people of Jack Kemp's character, balance and wisdom.

    R.I.P.

    May 3, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  8. Chenna Benna

    Rest in peace Jack. One of the few politicians I could trust.

    May 3, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  9. Andy

    It's very rare these days that we have politicians that are statesmen. Obama is one. Reagan was one, and Jack Kemp was one. He was a man who transcended childish party politics and consistently did what he thought was was best for America. We have all lost a great public servant. May he rest in peace.

    May 3, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  10. RR

    He was a true repbulican, a gentlmen, and a scholar. He tried to reach out to everyone, regardless of faith, race, and sex. He was honest, ethical, and caring.

    RIP, Jack

    May 3, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  11. Zach K

    I might be a Democrat, but this guy was a peaceful progressive Republican who was a perfect gentleman for his party. Bob Dole chose a great man on his ticket, and Buffalo had a great Congressman.

    R.I.P. Jack Kemp.

    May 3, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  12. cobra

    Jack Kemp was one of the best statesmen of this century and will be greatly missed. He may be the last decent statesman that this century has produced for a long time so his life should be a receipt for a lot of the ones in congress and in the administration to emulate.
    RIP Jack, you will be missed!!!!!!!!!

    May 3, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  13. whaley41

    He was a true gentlemen in life and politics. Not many of those left. Our prayers to his family.

    May 3, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  14. Carmine Abbattiello

    I met Jack Kemp and as people say he was a class act, pragmatic and fair. Jack, Bob Dole and, yes, John McCain, truly were the last of the upright republicans worthy of respect. I wish these three could have done more to fight the rising tide of racism, fundamentalism, and jingoism within the GOP. But there is only so much a man can do in the short time we have. RIP Jack you made the world a better place.

    May 3, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  15. Get Real

    Lauren,

    I agree with you, when something like this happens, leave the politics out.

    May 3, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  16. Democrat from Boulder

    My condolences to Jack Kemp's family. I always liked this man very much. A huge loss.

    And 73 is too young...

    May 3, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |