Remembering Bob Dole—the NEW Lakeshore Foundation president reflects

Lakeshore Foundation president with Senator Bob Dole
Senator Bob Dole and Lakeshore Foundation President John D. Kemp. Photo via Lakeshore Foundation

On Sunday, December 5, American hero and longtime advocate for people with disabilities, Senator Bob Dole, died. John D. Kemp, the new Lakeshore Foundation president, reflects on the Senator’s passing. Keep reading to learn more.

First things first—meet John D. Kemp

After former Lakeshore Foundation President Jeff Underwood announced his retirement in summer 2020, John D. Kemp was appointed. On November 1, Kemp officially began his role. Kemp’s decades of work as a champion for people with disabilities include co-founding the American Association of People with Disabilities and serving in leadership roles for various organizations that fight for the equal rights of people with disabilities.

John D. Kemp is also a recipient of the Dole Leadership Prize from the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas.

“I first met Senator Dole when, as an 18-year-old Georgetown University Freshman, I was invited by the CEO of National Easter Seals to have lunch with then Rep. Bob Dole (R-KS). Over the years, my admiration for him grew.  In 2014, I was beyond humbled when he selected me to receive his Dole Leadership Prize, an award bestowed upon presidents and global leaders.”

John D. Kemp, President, Lakeshore Foundation

Remembering Senator Dole

Bob Dole’s impact was far-reaching. His World War II injuries made him the most powerful American politician with a disability. As Senator, he worked to advance disability and human rights. Beyond standing out as a powerful politician with a disability, his length of tenure is also distinct. He served 37 years as both a member of the House of Representatives and in the Senate.

His support led to the passage of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.

“Throughout his life of incredible service and accomplishment, he remained humble, fun and brilliant. And, he remained deeply devoted to seeing the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) ratified by the U.S. Senate. As a close friend, I know seeing the U.S Senate ratify the CRPD was the most important accomplishment he wanted to achieve before he passed.”

John D. Kemp, President, Lakeshore Foundation

We know that John D. Kemp and the team at the Lakeshore Foundation will continue Senator Dole’s legacy through their work to further inclusion for those with disabilities in Birmingham and beyond.

Birmingham, how are you remembering the life of Senator Dole today? Let us know + be sure to follow Lakeshore Foundation for more info.

Cecilia Wood
Cecilia Wood
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