Joseph F. Keany (A.M., LL.B., LL.D., K.S.G.) was born on April 9, 1867 in Brooklyn and baptized in “old” St. James Parish, Brooklyn. He was a member of the freshman class of 1882-1883, received the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1893 and the Master of Arts in 1895 from St. John’s College, Brooklyn. In 1913, he was given an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws by his alma mater and later served as a member of the Board of Trustees of St. John’s (1921-1934). Keany studied law at New York University School of Law.
He entered the legal department of the Long Island Railroad in 1894 and eventually rose to the position of general solicitor in 1916. He became a member of the Roman Catholic Orphan Asylum Society in 1899 and held various offices in the organization and served as Vice President until his death on January 7, 1935. In 1920, Pope Benedict XV cited Keany a Knight of St. Gregory. He served also as a trustee of St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, was a member of the Emerald Society, St. Patrick’s Society and the Catholic Benevolent Society of Brooklyn. He was a member of the New York State Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the Long Island Railroad Veteran Employees Association.
The collection includes photographs, memorabilia, correspondence, a cemetery deed, documents relating to his career as an attorney, and relating to various organizations which he represented, as well as speeches, tributes and articles which are handwritten, typed, or in in published format.