"I am the only Democrat, the only liberal, and the only atheist in my family. I want the Keller Center to work to make it easier for others to pursue their individual beliefs, as I have been able to do all my life." - LeRoy Keller
LeRoy "Lee" Keller (CU '29) generously endowed the Keller Center for the Study of the First Amendment. Born in Longmont, Colorado in 1905, Keller spent 42 years with UP (later renamed United Press International) and then became a newspaper broker and consultant in New York City. In the same year that he graduated from Boulder, Keller joined the old United Press as a staff writer. He became a sales representative for the wire service in 1933, advancing over the years to the company's general sales manager, and vice president and director of client relations. From 1964-1971, he was vice president and general manager of UPI's international division.
Over his objections, UPI asked him to retire in 1971 when he was 65. He then became a newspaper broker and consultant, so successful that he said he later told a UPI president, "Why didn't you force me out earlier?"
Believing that the U.S. Constitution's guarantees of freedoms of speech and press were not fully understood and appreciated, Keller endowed CU's Keller Center for the Study of the First Amendment. He was a member of the Inter-American Press Association, International Press Institute, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Delta Chi, University Club in Manhattan, and the Carsdale, N.Y., Golf Club.
Keller died January 6, 1999, in a Pensacoa, Florida, rest home after a long illness. Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Winifred (Peggy) Cora Allen, and their two children: John Pierce Keller, a medical doctor in Florida, and Lynn Keller Andrews.