|United States Ambassador to Israel|
August 28, 1973 - May 5, 1975
|United States Ambassador to India|
May 1, 1969 - July 26, 1972
|Daniel Patrick Moynihan|
|United States Senator|
from New York
January 3, 1959 - January 3, 1965
|Robert F. Kennedy|
|Member of the|
U.S. House of Representatives
from New York
January 3, 1947 - January 3, 1959
|George F. Rogers|
|Jessica M. Weis|
|Constituency||40th district (1947-53)|
38th district (1953-59)
Kenneth Barnard Keating
May 18, 1900
Lima, New York
|Died||May 5, 1975 (aged 74)|
New York City, New York
|Resting place||Arlington National Cemetery|
|Spouse(s)||Louise DePuy (m. 1928-1968, her death)|
Mary Pitcairn Davis (m. 1974-1975, his death)
|Alma mater||University of Rochester|
Harvard Law School
|Branch/service||United States Army|
|Years of service||1918 (Student Officer Training Corps)|
1946-1963 (Organized Reserve Corps)
|Battles/wars||World War I|
World War II
|Awards||Legion of Merit (2)|
Order of the British Empire
Kenneth Barnard Keating (May 18, 1900 - May 5, 1975) was an American attorney, politician, judge, and diplomat from Rochester, New York. A Republican, he is most notable for his service as a U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator, state appellate court judge, and a U.S. Ambassador, first to India (1969-1972), then to Israel (1973-1975).
A native of Lima, New York, Keating graduated from Genesee Wesleyan Seminary (1915), the University of Rochester (1919), and Harvard Law School (1923). Keating practiced law in Rochester and became active in Republican Party politics.
During World War I, Keating served with the Student Army Training Corps at the University of Rochester. He joined the United States Army for World War II, and was commissioned as a major. He served in India as head of the U.S. office that managed the Lend-Lease Program for the China Burma India Theater and was promoted to colonel before the end of the war. Keating remained in the Organized Reserve Corps after his wartime service, was promoted to brigadier general in 1948, and continued to serve until retiring in 1963.
In 1946, Keating ran successfully for a U.S. House seat from a Rochester-based district. He was reelected five times, and served from 1947 to 1959. During his House tenure, Keating developed a reputation as a moderate on many issues, which he combined with conservative positions on Cold War anticommunism and the fight against organized crime. In 1958, he ran successfully for a U.S. Senate seat from New York, and he served from 1959 to 1965. Keating was an advocate of desegregation, and played a key role in breaking the filibuster that enabled passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Keating was one of many moderate to liberal Republicans who refused to endorse conservative Republican Barry Goldwater for president in 1964. Defeated for reelection by Robert F. Kennedy in 1964, Keating practiced law briefly, then won a seat on the New York Court of Appeals in the 1965 elections. He served until 1969, when he resigned to become U.S. Ambassador to India. He served in India until 1972, when he resigned and returned home to campaign for the reelection of President Richard Nixon. In 1973, Nixon appointed Keating Ambassador to Israel, and Keating remained in this position until his death.
Keating was born in Lima, New York on May 18, 1900, the son of Louise (Barnard) Keating, a schoolteacher, and Thomas Mosgrove Keating, a grocer. He was tutored by his mother until age seven, when he began attending the Lima public schools as a sixth grader. He graduated from high school at age 13 and attended Genesee Wesleyan Seminary, from which he graduated in 1915 as the class valedictorian. He graduated from the University of Rochester in 1919, and was a member of the Delta Upsilon fraternity and Phi Beta Kappa. He taught Latin and Greek for a year at Rochester's East High School, then began attendance at Harvard Law School. He graduated in 1923, was admitted to the bar, and commenced practice in Rochester. Keating's early forays into politics and government included service as town attorney for the town of Brighton, where he resided while practicing law in Rochester.
During World War I, Keating served in the Student Army Training Corps at the University of Rochester, where he attained the rank of sergeant. In April, 1942 Keating joined the Army for World War II and was commissioned as a major. He served initially as chief of the assignments branch in the international division of the Army Service Forces headquarters, and was promoted to lieutenant colonel in October, 1942.
In 1943, Keating was assigned to India as head of the Army Service Forces international office that administered the Lend-Lease Program for the China Burma India Theater, part of the South East Asia Command commanded by Lord Louis Mountbatten. He was promoted to colonel in February 1944 and in July 1944 he made an assessment tour of the theater's front lines with General Albert Coady Wedemeyer, Mountbatten's chief of staff, which took him to sixteen countries, including Ceylon, Burma, Indochina, and Java. Keating later served as executive assistant to Mountbatten's U.S. deputy, Lieutenant General Raymond Albert Wheeler, and was the senior American officer at the South East Asia Command's rear headquarters in India. In November 1945, Mountbatten dispatched Keating to London to provide Parliament information on the post-war rebuilding of India. Keating closed out his wartime service as a liaison between the Army Services Forces and the British military office in Washington, DC, and was awarded the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Order of the British Empire.
A Republican, Keating was a member of the New York delegation to every Republican National Convention from 1940 to 1964 with the exception of 1944, when he was overseas with the Army. On returning to the United States after World War II, Keating ran successfully for a Rochester-area seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 1946 election. He was reelected five times, and served in the 80th, 81st, 82nd, 83rd, 84th and 85th United States Congresses (January 3, 1947 to January 3, 1959).
Keating was regarded as a liberal Republican on many issues, but adopted conservative positions on anticommunism during the Cold War and fighting organized crime. He supported the Truman Doctrine and Marshall Plan and sponsored an early civil rights bill. He opposed diplomatic recognition of "Red China" after the Chinese civil war, and supported allowing the Federal Bureau of Investigation to use tactics including wiretaps on organized crime figures and suspected communist sympathizers. As a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, Keating was active in shepherding the Civil Rights Act of 1957 to passage. Keating also enhanced his public profile by creating a semi-monthly Rochester-area television show in which he discussed current events with government officials including fellow members of Congress, which increased his personal popularity among his House colleagues, who appreciated the opportunity to publicize their activities.
In 1958, Keating was the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate seat of the retiring Irving Ives, and defeated Democrat Frank Hogan, the New York County District Attorney. He served from January 3, 1959 to January 3, 1965 (the 86th, 87th and 88th Congresses) and was defeated for reelection in 1964 by Robert F. Kennedy. During his Senate term, Keating served on the Judiciary and Rules committees.
In 1960, Keating introduced the Twenty-Third Amendment to the United States Constitution, which allowed residents of the District of Columbia to vote in presidential elections. In 1962, before the Cuban Missile Crisis that began in October, Keating publicly cited a source who had informed him that the Soviet Union and Cuba had constructed intercontinental ballistic missile facilities in Cuba that could target the United States, and urged President John F. Kennedy to take action. He also worked with a bipartisan coalition that enabled passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by breaking a conservative filibuster.
During the 1964 Republican National Convention, Keating staged a walkout of the majority of the New York delegation after conservative Barry Goldwater won the presidential nomination. In the general election campaign, Keating refused to endorse Goldwater, and did not campaign for him in New York. Keating outperformed Goldwater on election day, but was defeated for reelection by the Democratic nominee, Robert F. Kennedy, who had established residency in New York shortly before becoming a candidate. Keating accused Kennedy of "carpetbagging", but Democratic strength in what proved to be a wave election nationwide was sufficient to propel Kennedy to victory.
In 1965, Keating was elected to the New York Court of Appeals. He served until resigning in 1969. Though elected to a 14-year term, New York required judges to retire at age 70. Because he was in his 60s when elected, Keating desired to make a mark in what he anticipated would be a short tenure. As a result, in his brief time on the bench, he authored more than 100 opinions.
Keating's judicial philosophy was that precedent was binding, but only to the extent that it made sense in the context of the current case and times; he disagreed with following precedent for its own sake. He also disagreed with the concept of distinguishing cases; that is, explaining in an opinion that an existing precedent applies partly but not completely because of materially different facts between the precedent-setting case and the current one. In Keating's view, if a precedent was to be overturned, it should simply be overturned; attempts to distinguish cases by parsing language or selectively picking and choosing case details were confusing to attorneys and judges because they amounted to dishonest reasoning.
In Liberty National Bank v. Buscaglia, Keating rejected the argument that national banks should be exempt from paying state taxes on the grounds that they were instruments of the federal government. In Keating's view, national banks had changed so much since the 1819 McCulloch v. Maryland decision gave them the exemption from state taxes that the McCulloch precedent no longer applied. In Gallagher v. St. Raymond's Roman Catholic Church, Keating's opinion overturned the precedent that the owner of a building to which the public was invited had no duty to illuminate the building's outside stairway. Keating argued that while the precedent made sense in the eras of candles, lanterns and gas lighting, which were not universally accessible, the availability of electric lighting nearly everywhere had rendered it obsolete. In Flanagan v. Mount Eden General Hospital, the court overruled the common law tradition that the statute of limitations in medical malpractice actions which involved instruments left inside a patient began to run from the commission of the act. Keating's opinion argued that logically, the statute of limitations should begin at the point where the patient first became aware of the instrument that had not been retrieved.
In 1969, Keating was appointed U.S. Ambassador to India, which enabled him to make use of the goodwill and contacts he had established during his World War II military service. His tenure was regarded as a success for U.S.-India relations until its last few months, when the Nixon Administration tacitly supported Pakistan in the Bangladesh Liberation War. India conducted a successful war against Pakistan which lasted two weeks and resulted in the transformation of East Pakistan into the independent state of Bangladesh.
As a result of U.S. support for Pakistan in the conflict, America suspended economic aid to India, and India closed five American cultural centers. Keating remained in India until 1972, when he returned to the United States to campaign for the reelection of President Richard M. Nixon.
He served as Ambassador to Israel from August 1973 until his death. Keating's ambassadorship was high profile; he built a network of contacts and conducted one on one diplomacy by entertaining frequently at his home in the Tel Aviv suburbs. Despite his efforts, members of the Israeli government were reportedly unhappy with his work, and expressed skepticism about the quality of the reports he sent to the State Department in Washington. In one instance, Israel's government claimed Keating had misinformed U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger about the effects of public opinion in Israel on how much compromising its government could do in attempting to reach agreement with Egypt on the occupation of the Sinai.
Keating suffered a heart attack on April 17, 1975 while visiting his daughter in New Jersey, and was admitted to Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City. He died in the hospital on May 5. Keating's funeral was held at St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, and he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
In 1928, Keating was married to Louise DePuy, who died in 1968. In 1974, he married Mary Leet Pitcairn (d. 2009), the former wife of William Harding Jackson and former secretary for General Omar N. Bradley. She was the widow of attorney Wendell Davis, who had been a law school classmate of Keating. In addition to his second wife, Keating was survived by his daughter, Judith K. Howe of Short Hills, New Jersey.
The federal building in Rochester is named for Keating.Brooklyn Law School awards the annual Judge Kenneth B. Keating Memorial Prize to a member of each graduating class who demonstrates exceptional achievement in the field of conflict of laws. The Kenneth Barnard Keating Papers are part of the Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation holdings at the University of Rochester. Senator Keating Boulevard in the town of Brighton, a road which was constructed in the late 1990s, is named for Keating.
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|Party political offices|
| Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from New York
|U.S. House of Representatives|
George F. Rogers
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 40th congressional district
William E. Miller
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 38th congressional district
Jessica M. Weis
| U.S. Senator (Class 1) from New York
Served alongside: Jacob K. Javits
Robert F. Kennedy
| United States Ambassador to India
Daniel P. Moynihan
| United States Ambassador to Israel