A graduate of Cecil Township High
School where he played in the band and earned letters in football,
basketball and track. Kemp went to Duquesne University and played
football for coach Elmer Layden, one of the legendary four horseman of
Notre Dame. He earned All-American honors in football and other awards
for track and field.
Kemp was the first African American to play professional football in the
city of Pittsburgh and only the second African American to play in the
NFL. He was an original member of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Pirates) in
1933 and was the last surviving member of the team when he died. For his
contributions to the game of professional football, his picture is
displayed in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
He distinguished himself throughout his 39 year career as a Director of
Health, Physical Education and Athletics, and coached varsity football,
basketball and track and field at Bluefield State College, Lincoln
University and Tennessee State where he was Athletic Director, track and
field coach and professor of Sociology. He coached Ralph Boston, the
1960 Olympian Gold Medal winner in the broad jump.
Kemp also served as Commissioner of the state of Missouri High School
Athletic Association and was unyielding in his devotion to academic
excellence and interracial competition.