United States Representative and U.S. Senator from New York: Kenneth Keating Interview





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Published on May 23, 2012


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

He attended public school and was graduated from Genesee Wesleyan Seminary in 1915. He then attended the University of Rochester, which he was graduated from in 1919, while there he joined The Delta Upsilon Fraternity, and from Harvard Law School in 1923. He was admitted to the bar in 1923 and commenced practice in Rochester. During the First World War he served as a sergeant in the United States Army and during the Second World War served overseas and was promoted to brigadier general in 1948. On returning to the United States he resumed his law practice.

Keating was elected to the House of Representatives as a Republican to the 80th, 81st, 82nd, 83rd, 84th and 85th United States Congresses, 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 M. Ives, and served from January 3, 1959, to January 3, 1965. Before the Cuban Missile Crisis, Senator 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. When he was running for re-election in 1964 Keating refused to endorse his party's Presidential nominee, the conservative Senator Barry Goldwater, who was highly unpopular in New York. Keating did run far ahead of Goldwater in New York, but was still defeated for re-election in 1964 by Democrat Robert F. Kennedy, after a campaign in which Keating labelled Kennedy, who had only spent part of his childhood in New York, as a "carpetbagger." Keating's campaign slogan was "Keep Keating."

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


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