Ralph Keyes is an author, speaker and teacher. His 16 books deal with topics ranging from time pressure to human height. Keyes’s bestseller Is There Life After High School? was made into a Broadway musical that is still produced in this country and abroad. Since its 1995 publication his book The Courage to Write has become a standard work among aspiring writers in particular.
Keyes’s recent books have focused on language. “Nice Guys Finish Seventh” and The Quote Verifier explore the origins of quotations, with an emphasis on correcting misconceptions about who said what. I Love It When You Talk Retro is about “retroterms,” words and phrases that are rooted in our past. Euphemania: Our Love Affair with Euphemisms (titled Unmentionables: From Family Jewels to Friendly Fire, What We Say Instead of What We Mean in Great Britain) considers how and why we use so many evasive words.
Hundreds of articles and essays by Keyes have appeared in publications ranging from GQ to Good Housekeeping. An article he co-authored won the McKinsey Award for Best Article of the Year in the Harvard Business Review.
In addition to writing Keyes speaks to gatherings that range from professional, corporate and educational groups to ones for writers. He has also taught courses on writing at schools, colleges and writer’s conferences.
Following early media appearances on The Tonight Show and All Things Considered Keyes appeared on Oprah Winfrey, The Today Show, ABC World News Tonight, and 20/20. On National Public Radio he’s been interviewed by Susan Stamberg, Robert Siegel, Noah Adams, Neal Conan, Brooke Gladstone, and Terry Gross (for Fresh Air, All Things Considered, On the Media, and Talk of the Nation). Keyes was one of Bob Edwards’s first guests on The Bob Edwards Show on XM Radio.
After graduating from Antioch College in 1967, Keyes did graduate work at the London School of Economics and Political Science. From 1968 to 1970 he was Assistant to the Publisher of Long Island’s Newsday. Following a decade as a Fellow of the Center for Studies of the Person in La Jolla, California, Keyes did free-lance writing and lecturing in the Philadelphia area. He now lives with his wife Muriel in Yellow Springs, Ohio. When not writing Keyes collects deco toasters and other vintage appliances. He also likes to hike, bike and follow sports.
Keyes belongs to the Authors Guild, and is a Fellow of the Western Behavioral Sciences Institute. He is listed in Contemporary Authors and Who’s Who.