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Keyes, Leroy (Marvin Leroy), 1947-2021



  • Existence: February 18, 1947 - April 15, 2021

Biographical Information

Marvin Leroy Keyes was born on February 18, 1947, in Newport News, Virginia, and was a standout football player at George Washington Carver High School. Because most of the segregated universities throughout the U.S. South would not allow black students to play football, Keyes was advised to look into schools in other areas of the country.

Keyes enrolled as a student in the Physical Education program at Purdue University in 1965 where he was a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity and played on the football team as a defensive back from 1966-1968. In 1967, Keyes was named the Big Ten Conference Most Valuable Player after a record-setting season, and broke those records again the following year. He was a consensus All-American in both 1967 and 1968, and was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy both years (finishing in third and second place, respectively). While a student at Purdue, Keyes participated in local civil rights protests. He graduated in 1969 with a Bachelor of Physical Education degree.

Keyes was selected third overall by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1969 NFL Draft where he played for four seasons before being traded to the Kansas City Chiefs. After three seasons with the Chiefs, Keyes retired from the NFL and worked as a desgregation specialist for the School District of Philadelphia. He later returned to Purdue as an assistant football coach and long-term Assistant Director of the John Purdue Club. He was later inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame, the College Footbal Hall of Fame (Class of 1990), the All-Time Purdue Team, and in 1987 he was named the All-Time Greatest Player in Purdue History.

Leroy Keyes and his wife Monica have four children: Raymond, Jacqueline, Courtland, and Colin.


Keyes, Leroy. Indiana Football Hall of Fame. Accessed May 3, 2017.


Purdue ICONS #9: Leroy Keyes. Hammer and Rails: A Purdue Boilermakers Community, SB Nation. Accessed May 3, 2017.


Leroy Keyes. Purdue Sports Family of Sites. Accessed April 15, 2021

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Collection of Leroy Keyes Press Photos

 Collection — Box: Communal Collections 56, Placement: 03
Identifier: MSP 229
Scope and Contents The Collection of Leroy Keyes Press Photos documents some press coverage of the daily life of Purdue Football player Leroy Keyes during his time as a Purdue University student. Photos focus on Keyes' participation in campus protests, studies, and leisure activities. The collection includes four photographs.
Dates: 1967 - 1969