Insurance Hall of Fame
Hon. James S. Kemper, Sr.
James S. Kemper, Sr. developed a group of life, casualty and property insurers and in more than six decades applied his talents to educational, humanitarian, political and other fields where his creative ideas could be used.
He was a pioneer in the writing of automobile insurance and he played a major role in bringing “mutual” insurance to dominance in the American market. As a young man, he developed the business for the newly created Lumbermen’s Mutual Casualty Company, with emphasis on service, low cost and safety.
Additionally, he created the Central Automobile Safety Committee and the Northwestern University Traffic Institute, both highly effective in preserving the human and property resources of the United States. He was instrumental in creating the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and organized the James S. Kemper Foundation responsible for more than 400 scholarships and fellowships in fire protection engineering, insurance administration, actuarial science, industrial medicine and nursing. He gave his support and participated in the formation of the American Mutual Insurance Alliance, Mutual Insurance Rating Bureau, Transportation Insurance Rating Bureau, Mutual Loss Research Bureau, and the Mutual Insurance Advisory Association.
As a proponent of inter-American hemispheric solidarity, he co-founded the Hemispheric Insurance Conference and was the first chairman of the Council for Latin America. He raised a strong voice in support of a free enterprise society and constantly promoted sound fiscal policy in government. His concern for the well-being of his fellow man led him to the presidency of the U. S. Chamber of Commerce and to the post of United States Ambassador to Brazil.