Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022

May 11, 2012

Morton Kondracke to Discuss the Life and Career of Jack Kemp May 24

Morton Kondracke, a national commentator and journalist for nearly 50 years, will deliver a lecture titled "Jack Kemp, An American Idealist" at 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 24, in Room LJ-119 of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. The event, which is presented by the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, is free and open to the public; tickets are not required.

Kondracke is the current Kemp Chair in Political Economy in the Kluge Center. His lecture culminates a year of research and writing about Jack Kemp’s congressional career, his leadership role during the Reagan era, his presidential campaign and his influence on the Republican Party and the nation. Drawing in part from the Jack Kemp Papers in the Library of Congress—comprising nearly 200,000 items and spanning the years 1963-1996—Kondracke will discuss Kemp’s life and career.

The Kemp Chair in Political Economy is part of the Kemp Legacy Project at the Library of Congress. The purpose of the project, funded by the Jack Kemp Foundation, is to honor Jack Kemp’s public service; to record, perpetuate and advance his contributions to American political thought by making them accessible to scholars, researchers and the general public; and to help educate the next generation of political leaders. Before going into politics, Jack Kemp played professional football for the Buffalo Bills. He served nine terms in Congress (1971-1988) as a representative from New York and as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (1989-1993) under the George H.W. Bush administration. He is known as a leading advocate of "supply-side" economics, and co-sponsored the law that resulted in the 1981 tax cuts under President Ronald Reagan. Kemp was the first lawmaker to popularize "enterprise zones," to encourage development in underserved urban neighborhoods, which he believed would foster entrepreneurship and job creation and expand homeownership. He died in May 2009 and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Obama.

Kondracke is a graduate of Dartmouth College where he majored in English. His career has included positions at Roll Call, the New Republic, Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal. He is a Fox News commentator and was a regular panelist on "The McLaughlin Group" and ABC’s "This Week." A Nieman Fellow at Harvard, he has also frequently appeared on "Meet the Press" and NPR. He is author of the best-selling "Saving Milly: Love, Politics and Parkinson’s Disease."

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate and energize one another, to distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For further information on the Kluge Center, visit

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PR 12-097
ISSN 0731-3527

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