Kane, Ex-Corporation Member, Dies
Served Harvard for 20 Years
R. Keith Kane '22, a member of the Harvard Corporation for 20 years, died of a stroke Thursday at his retirement home in Charlottesville, Va.
Kane, who was 73 years old, was a prominent New York lawyer who served on the Corporation, Harvard's foremost governing body, from 1950 until 1970. He was appointed by President James Bryant Conant '14.
Adviser to Conant
Prior to his appointment to the Corporation, Kane advised Conant on educational policy issues. On the Corporation, he was known for his fundraising and his special concern for Harvard's non-Cambridge outposts, like the Byzantine Studies Center at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington and Renaissance research center at Villa I Tatti, near Florence, Italy.
Before coming to work for Harvard, Kane held several governmental posts in Washington. In 1940, he was special assistant to the U.S. Attorney General for the enforcement of foreign registration laws.
During World War II, he served as chief of the bureau of intelligence in the Office of Facts and Figures and the Office of War Information. In 1943, Kane became assistant secretary of the Army.
Later, Kane was an adviser to the U.S. delegation to the San Francisco Conference, which set up the United Nations.
Kane attended Harvard College from 1918 to 1922, when he was captain of the varsity football team. After post-graduate studies at Oxford, he returned to Harvard to attend the Law School, where he received an LLB degree in 1926.
Upon his graduation from Law School, Kane joined the New York firm of Cadwalder, Wickersham and Taft, where he remained a partner until his death.
William Bentinck-Smith '37, assistant to then President Nathan M. Pusey '28 during much of Kane's term on the Corporation, yesterday called him "one of the great Harvard men of all time."
Dean Whitlock said yesterday that Kane was "a man of tremendous integrity." "He had a very friendly, personal approach--not show-offy or egotistical or arrogant," Whitlock said. "He was just a quiet, helpful, nice guy with a real vigor and concern about people."
"Any time I had anything to do with him he was a straight arrow, sensible and ready to help out Harvard at any time. He was behind Harvard all the way."
Kane received an honorary LLD degree from Harvard in 1971.