(Oct. 11, 1939-Aug. 23,1985). An Indianapolis native, Keating graduated from Cathedral Grade School and High School on the city’s near northside and attended Ball State and Indiana universities. He was a real estate salesman before joining the Indianapolis Star in 1966 as a police reporter. By virtue of his flair for the human-interest story, he was awarded a regular column in 1971 and became an institution through his daily chronicles of the city’s ordinary lives.

Over the following 14 years and approximately 3,500 columns, Keating conveyed anecdotes and character sketches drawn from throughout the world and all levels of society. His specialty, however, was the local common man and woman. This work led to numerous journalistic and civic awards as well as a published book of selected columns, Indiana Faces And Other Places, in 1982. 

In 1986, the Indianapolis Press Club Foundation established the Thomas R. Keating Featured Writing Program to assist Indiana college students interested in journalism. The program’s main event is the Keating Competition, a daylong contest that awards prize money for the best original features about Indianapolis. Lilly Endowment continues to underwrite a portion of the competition each year.

Revised March 2021

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