ALAN KEYES Biography - Polititians


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Name: Alan Lee Keyes                                                                       
Born: 7 August 1950 New York City, New York                                                 
Alan Lee Keyes (born August 7, 1950) is an American political activist, author,             
former diplomat, and perennial candidate for public office. He ran for                     
President of the United States in 1996, 2000 and 2008, and for the U.S. Senate             
in 1988, 1992, and 2004 as a Republican. Keyes served in the U.S. Foreign                   
Service, was appointed Ambassador to the Economic and Social Council of the                 
United Nations under President Ronald Reagan, and served as Assistant Secretary             
of State for International Organization Affairs from 1985 to 1987. He currently             
lives with his family in Montgomery County, Maryland.                                       
Born in a naval hospital on Long Island in New York, Keyes was the fifth                   
child to Allison and Gerthina Keyes, a U.S. Army sergeant and a teacher. Due to             
his father's tours of duty, the Keyes family traveled frequently. Keyes lived in           
Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Virginia and overseas in Italy.             
After graduation from high school, Keyes attended Cornell University, where he             
was a member of the Cornell University Glee Club and The Hangovers. He studied             
political philosophy with American philosopher and essayist Allan Bloom and has             
said that Bloom was the professor who influenced him most in his undergraduate             
studies. Later, Keyes received death threats for opposing Vietnam war                       
protesters who seized a campus building. Keyes claims that a passage of                     
Bloom's book, The Closing of the American Mind, refers to this incident,                   
speaking of an African American student "whose life had been threatened by a               
black faculty member when the student refused to participate in a demonstration"           
at Cornell. Shortly thereafter, he left the school and spent a year in Paris               
under a Cornell study abroad program connected with Bloom  .                               
Keyes was invited to continue his studies at Harvard University, where he                   
resided at Winthrop House, and completed his B.A. degree in government affairs             
in 1972. During his first year of graduate school, Keyes's roommate was Bill               
Kristol. In 1988, Kristol ran Keyes' unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign in                   
Keyes earned his PhD in government affairs from Harvard University in 1979,                 
having written a dissertation on Alexander Hamilton and constitutional theory,             
under Harvey C. Mansfield  . Due to student deferments and a high                           
draft number, Keyes was not drafted to serve in Vietnam. Keyes and his family               
were staunch supporters of the war in Vietnam, where his father served two tours           
of duty. Keyes was criticized by opponents of the war in Vietnam, but he says               
he was supporting his father and his brothers, who were also fighting in the war.           
Keyes is married to Jocelyn Marcel Keyes, an Indian from Calcutta, whom he met             
during his service in Bombay  . The couple have three children —                         
Francis, Maya, and Andrew  . Keyes is a third-degree Knight of                             
Columbus  and he is Catholic  .                                                           
In 2005, Maya Keyes came out as a lesbian. She stated that, as a result, her               
family threw her out of the house, stopped talking to her, and refused to pay               
for her college. In a later interview with Metro Weekly, a Washington, D.C.                 
LGBT newspaper, Maya Keyes confirmed that her father cut off financial support.             
She said she could understand it because it doesn't make sense for her father to           
be financially supporting someone who is working against what he believes in.               
Alan Keyes spoke against these reports on the Bill Haft radio show in October               
2007. In response to a caller, Keyes said that he loves his daughter and that               
she knows she has a home with him. He asserted that he never cut her off and               
never would because it would be "wrong in the eyes of God." He also said he                 
would not be coerced into "approving of that which destroys the soul" of his               
daughter. He contended that he must "stand for the truth [Jesus Christ]                     
represents" even if it breaks his heart.                                                   
It has been claimed that Keyes is a trained opera singer. A descendant of                   
enslaved African Americans, Keyes wrote a book about the problems affecting                 
black America called Masters of the Dream: The Strength and Betrayal of Black               
A year before completing his doctoral studies, Keyes joined the United States               
Department of State as a protégé of UN Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick.                     
Keyes viewed Kirkpatrick as a mentor. In 1979, he was assigned                             
to the consulate in Mumbai, India, where as a desk officer he met his wife                 
Jocelyn Marcel. The following year, Keyes was sent to serve at                             
the embassy in Zimbabwe.                                                                   
In 1981 Keyes settled in Washington, D.C. as a member of the State Department's             
Policy Planning Staff. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan                                     
appointed Keyes to the United Nations with the full rank of ambassador. He                 
continued as ambassador to the UN  until 1985, when he was                                 
appointed Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations, a                   
position he held until 1987. His stay at the UN provoked some controversy,                 
leading Newsday to say "he has propounded the more unpopular aspects of US                 
policy with all the diplomatic subtlety of the cannon burst in Tchaikovsky's               
1812 Overture." He also served on the staff of the National Security Council.               
At a fundraiser for Keyes' Senate campaign, President Reagan spoke of Keyes'               
time as an ambassador, saying that he "did such an extraordinary job ...                   
defending our country against the forces of anti-Americanism." Reagan continued,           
"I've never known a more stout-hearted defender of a strong America than Alan               
Keyes." In 1987 Keyes was appointed a resident scholar for the American                     
Enterprise Institute. His principal research for AEI was diplomacy,                         
international relations, and self-government.                                               
Following government service, Ambassador Keyes was President of Citizens Against           
Government Waste (CAGW) from 1989 to 1991, and founded CAGW's National Taxpayers'           
Action Day. In 1991, he served as Interim President of Alabama A&M University,             
in Huntsville, Alabama.                                                                     
Among the U.S. delegation to the 1984 World Population Conference in Mexico City,           
Keyes was selected by Reagan as deputy chairman. In that capacity, Keyes                   
negotiated the language of the Mexico City Policy to withhold federal funds from           
international organizations that support abortion. Additionally, Keyes                     
fought against an Arab-backed UN resolution calling for investigation of Israeli           
settlements. The measure passed 83-2, with 15 abstentions and only Israel and               
the U.S. voting against it. Reagan again appointed Keyes to represent the U.S.             
in the 1985 Women's Conference in Nairobi.                                                 
During his time at the State Department, Keyes defended the Reagan policy                   
opposing the imposition of economic sanctions on South Africa as punishment for             
apartheid. Stated Keyes, "I see the black people in South Africa as the most               
critical positive factor for eliminating apartheid and building the future of               
that country ... And that is not something you do with rhetoric, slogans and               
noninvolvement. It's not something you will achieve through disinvestment."