Log In

Alexander Macdonald Keith

Alexander MacDonald Keith is a Minnesota lawyer who served as a state senator, the 37th Lieutenant Governor, and an associate justice and chief justice of the state supreme court.

Background

Sandy Keith was born in Rochester, Minnesota to Norman M. Keith and Edna (Alexander) Keith. His father was a physician who practiced medicine at the Mayo Clinic.

Education

Keith graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College in 1950, and from Yale Law School in 1953.

Career

He then served in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War. After returning to his hometown of Rochester, Minnesota, Keith took a job as counsel with the Mayo Clinic, where he worked with future United States Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun. During his tenure as a State Senator, Keith served as a delegate to the 1960 Democratic National Convention.

He was Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota under Governor Karl Rolvaag from 1963 until 1967. In 1989, Keith began serving as a justice on the Minnesota Supreme Court. He became Chief Justice in 1990 and served in that capacity until 1998.

While serving as Chief Justice (having been appointed to the position by (then) Governor Rudy Perpich), Keith handed down a ruling that allowed Arne Carlson onto the ballot after the previously endorsed candidate stepped out of the race for cavorting in a swimming pool with minor girls. After retiring from the Minnesota Supreme Court, Keith returned to private practice at Dunlap & Seeger in Rochester where he concentrates on mediating civil and family law disputes. He self-identifies as a Democrat, but currently serves on the board for the conservative Center of the American Experiment and is outspoken in his endorsement of Republican candidates and policies.

Politics

Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party, Democratic Party.

Membership

Sen. delegate White House Conference on Aging, Washington, 1960. United States delegate United Nations Delegation for Funding Developing Countries, Geneva, 1966. Board directors Rochester Graduate Education Advisory Committee, 1988-1989, Ability Building Center Inc.

1st lieutenant United States Marine Corps, 1953-1955, Korea.

Connections

Married Marion Sanford, April 29, 1955. Children: Peter Sanford (deceased), Ian Alexander, Douglas Scott.