Jack Kemp

official portrait of Jack Kemp c. 1989, office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development

Birth Name: Jack French Kemp

Date of Birth: July 13, 1935

Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California, United States

Date of Death: May 2, 2009

Place of Death: Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.

Ethnicity: English, distant Welsh and Irish

Jack Kemp was an American politician and professional gridiron football player. A Republican, he was a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York, from January 3, 1971 to January 3, 1989, Chair of the House Republican Conference, from January 3, 1981 to January 3, 1987, and the 9th U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, from February 13, 1989 to January 20, 1993.

He was the Republican Party’s nominee for Vice President of the United States in 1996. He was also a candidate for the Republican Party’s nomination for President of the United States in 1988.

Jack was the son of Frances Elizabeth (Pope) and Paul Robert Kemp, who were born in South Dakota. He had deep roots in the United States, with many family lines having lived in New York and New England. With his wife, Joanne (Main), he had four children, including Jeff Kemp and Jimmy Kemp, both of whom also played professional football.

Jack’s family practiced Christian Science, and Jack later converted to Presbyterianism. He was raised in a part of Los Angeles that was heavily Jewish, and attended Fairfax High School, whose student body was over 90% Jewish.

Jack’s paternal grandfather was Oscar Paddock Kemp (the son of John Edwin Kemp and Caroline Sigourney). Oscar was born in New York. John was the son of John Kemp and Rebecca Chamberlain. Caroline was the daughter of Peter Sigourney and Wealthy Bates.

Jack’s paternal grandmother was Elva Mary French (the daughter of Benjamin Franklin French and Elizabeth Rachel Brown). Elva was born in Wisconsin. Benjamin was the son of John French and Nancy Kennedy. Elizabeth was the daughter of Jacob Brown and Anna Smith.

Jack’s maternal grandfather was Gershom Barlow Pope (the son of George W. Pope and Adeline D. Barlow). Gershom was born in Wisconsin. George was the son of Gershom Pope and Almira Miller.

Jack’s maternal grandmother was Lucy Grace Catlett (the daughter of James William Catlett and Winifred C. Thomas). Lucy was born in Missouri. James was the son of Isaac Catlett and Mary “Polly” Walters. Winifred was the daughter of Henry Wilson Thomas and Mary P. Nall.

Sources: Genealogy of Jack Kemp – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Jack Kemp on the 1940 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Genealogy of Jack Kemp (focusing on his father’s side) – https://www.geni.com

Genealogy of Jack Kemp (focusing on his mother’s side) – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Jack’s maternal grandmother, Lucy Grace Catlett, on the 1880 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Genealogy of Jack’s maternal great-grandfather, James William Catlett – http://www.ancestry.ca

Genealogy of Jack’s maternal great-grandmother, Winifred C. Thomas – https://www.wikitree.com

2 Responses

  1. andrew says:

    genealogy of Jack’s maternal great-grandmother Winifred “Winnie” C. Thomas:


    She had some Irish and Welsh ancestry:


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