Schumer, Higgins Announce Senate Passage Of Legislation To Name Orchard Park Post Office In Honor Of Former WNY Congressman, VP Candidate, And Buffalo Bills Quarterback Jack F. Kemp
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and Congressman Brian Higgins today announced Senate passage of legislation to designate the United States Post Office in Orchard Park, NY as the "Jack F. Kemp Post Office Building” in honor of Jack F. Kemp, a former Buffalo Bills Quarterback, Vice Presidential candidate and Congressman from Western New York. Ralph Wilson Stadium, home of the Buffalo Bills, is located in Orchard Park.
“Jack Kemp was an exemplary public official and an even better person,” said Senator Schumer. “He was a great athlete, an honorable and hard working elected official who had a profound effect on Buffalo and the country, and a good friend. Naming the Orchard Park Post Office is a fitting tribute to a man who devoted a good part of his life to the Western New York community -- first on the football field and later in the halls of Congress. His passion for politics and his lifetime of service has had a huge impact on both Buffalo and the nation.”
“It is a proud moment for Western New York to honor the legacy of our own quarterback and Congressman Jack Kemp—a lifelong community advocate who gave hope to sports fans and residents alike,” said Congressman Higgins. “Last week President Obama bestowed Kemp with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor to share his story as a devoted public servant for Western New York and the world. Now, through dedicating this Post Office in his name, our community will be able to remember his tireless work for generations to come.”
Though born in California, Kemp adopted Western New York as his home after playing for the Buffalo Bills and leading the Bills to the American Football League (AFL) Championships in 1964 and 1965. He went on to earn Most Valuable Player honors in 1965. In 1964, while playing, he co-founded the AFL Players Association and served as president for five years until his retirement in 1969. Early in his football career, Kemp also served in the United States Army Reserve.
After his athletic career ended, Kemp ran for the open congressional seat in New York’s then-31st congressional district. He won the seat and served nine terms in the House of Representatives. As a congressman, Kemp fought for tax and housing reform. He later went on to serve for four years as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the George H.W. Bush Administration and served as Bob Dole’s vice-presidential running mate in the 1996 presidential election. After the election, Kemp stayed out of public office but continued to advocate for the issues and causes that were important to him.
Earlier this year, Kemp was diagnosed with cancer. On May 2, 2009, Jack F. Kemp died at his home in Bethesda, MD with family and friends at the age of 73.
Schumer and Higgins said, “Jack Kemp was an accomplished politician, outstanding athlete and tireless servant to this nation. He is already greatly missed.”