Jack Kemp, the former football star, congressman, one-time vice-presidential nominee, and self-described "bleeding-heart conservative" died today of cancer at age 73. Kemp, a former quarterback for the Buffalo Bills, represented western New York for nine terms in Congress, leaving the House for an unsuccessful presidential bid in 1988. Eight years later, after serving a term as George H.W. Bush's housing secretary, he made it onto the national ticket as Bob Dole's running mate.
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. Mitch McConnell called Kemp "one of the nation's most distinguished public servants."