Biographical / Historical
Arthur H. Keeney was born on January 12, 1920 in Louisville. He died on October 1, 1996 at the age of 76. Keeney married Virginia Tripp, who became a prominent child psychiatrist, in 1942 and they had three children: Martha, Douglas, and Steven.
Arthur Keeney graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1942. He enrolled in the University of Louisville’s School of Medicine and graduated with his medical degree in 1944. Keeney worked as an Army doctor in Korea from 1946 to 1948 and reached the rank of captain. He received his doctorate in ophthalmology from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine. From 1951 to 1965, Keeney worked in a private practice in Louisville and volunteered as a faculty member for the University of Louisville. In 1965, Keeney got a job as the chief ophthalmologist at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia. He also was chairman of the ophthalmology department at Temple University at this time.
Keeney became dean of the University of Louisville’s School of Medicine in 1973 and held this position until his resignation in 1980. Keeney’s term as dean was one of controversy. A 1976 an overseers’ committee and 1977 national accrediting panel commented on leadership deficiencies within the department. An evaluation committee recommended, in 1979, that Keeney’s contract not be renewed, though it later was. Keeney resigned in 1980 and cited differences in philosophy with his superiors.
Keeney was a prominent researcher in ophthalmology. He wrote many scientific articles and monographs including Ocular Examination: Basis and Technique, a standard ophthalmology textbook. Keeney served on national safety boards to deal with issues like the development of plastic eyeglasses, eye testing standards for drivers, and safety belts & safer windshields. He was also a lifetime member of the James Graham Brown Foundation’s board of directors which he joined in 1978. Keeney was also a member of the Rotary Club of Louisville, Pendennis Club, Union League of Philadelphia, and other philanthropic organizations in Louisville and Philadelphia.