Open main menu

Kenneth Barnard Keating (May 18, 1900 – May 5, 1975), was a Republican United States Representative and a U.S. Senator from New York and later an appellate judge and a diplomat representing the United States as ambassador to India and later to Israel.

Kenneth Keating
Senator Kenneth Keating.jpg
United States Ambassador to Israel
In office
August 28, 1973 – May 5, 1975
Preceded byWalworth Barbour
Succeeded byMalcolm Toon
United States Ambassador to India
In office
Preceded byChester Bowles
Succeeded byDaniel Patrick Moynihan
United States Senator
from New York
In office
January 3, 1959 – January 3, 1965
Preceded byIrving Ives
Succeeded byRobert F. Kennedy
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from New York
In office
January 3, 1947 – January 3, 1959
Preceded byGeorge F. Rogers
Succeeded byJessica M. Weis
Constituency40th district (1947–53)
38th district (1953–59)
Personal details
Kenneth Barnard Keating

(1900-05-18)May 18, 1900
Lima, New York
DiedMay 5, 1975(1975-05-05) (aged 74)
New York City, New York
Resting placeArlington National Cemetery
Arlington, Virginia
Political partyRepublican
Alma materSyracuse University
University of Rochester
Harvard Law School
OccupationLawyer, politician
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1915-1917
Battles/warsWorld War I

Life and careerEdit

Keating was born in Lima, New York, the son of Louise (Barnard), a schoolteacher, and Thomas Mosgrove Keating, a businessman.[1] He attended public school and graduated from Genesee Wesleyan Seminary in 1915. When the United States entered World War I, he joined the United States Army and served as a sergeant. He attended the University of Rochester, graduating in 1919, and while there he joined the Delta Upsilon Fraternity. He then attended Harvard Law School, graduating in 1923. He was admitted to the bar in 1923 and commenced practice in Rochester. During World War II, he again joined the US Army and served overseas as an officer. On returning to the United States, he briefly resumed his law practice before running for Congress in 1946. Keating was promoted to brigadier general in 1948.

Keating was elected to the House of Representatives as a Republican to the 80th, 81st, 82nd, 83rd, 84th and 85th United States Congresses, representing Rochester-area districts, and served from January 3, 1947, to January 3, 1959. In 1958, he defeated New York County District Attorney Frank Hogan for the U.S. Senate seat of the retiring Irving Ives, and served from January 3, 1959, to January 3, 1965. Before the Cuban Missile Crisis, Keating accused the Soviets and Cuba of building IRBMs in Cuba and urged President John F. Kennedy to take action.

Keating was a moderate, like many prominent New York Republicans of his era.[2] While running for reelection in 1964 Keating refused to endorse his party's presidential nominee, the conservative Senator Barry Goldwater, who was highly unpopular in New York for being too extreme.[3] Keating did a lot better than Goldwater in New York but was still defeated for reelection by Democrat Robert F. Kennedy, after a campaign in which Keating called Kennedy, who had spent only part of his childhood in New York, a "carpetbagger." William Safire wrote: "Since both candidates were liberals, there was little ideological argument; Keating, to overcome Kennedy's fame and name, played on his opponent's reputation for ruthlessness."[4]

In 1965, Keating was elected to the New York Court of Appeals but he resigned in 1969 to become United States Ambassador to India, which he remained until 1972. Keating then served as Ambassador to Israel from August 1973 until his death in 1975.

In Rochester, New York the federal building is named after him.[5]


  1. ^ "Keating, Kenneth Barnard : American National Biography Online - oi".
  2. ^ "The Pittsburgh Press - Google News Archive Search".
  3. ^ "Lewiston Morning Tribune - Google News Archive Search".
  4. ^ Safire, William (1978). Safire's Political Dictionary. Random House. p. 558. ISBN 0-394-50261-2.
  5. ^ "City of Rochester | Kenneth B. Keating Federal Building".

External linksEdit