Robert Brian McKeon passed away in Darien on Sept. 10, 2012. He was an extraordinarily compassionate and generous person, a loving husband and father, a devoted son and sibling, and a cherished friend.
Mr. McKeon was born to Diana Brady McKeon and Donald Stillwell McKeon in Bronx, N.Y. on Aug. 6, 1954. From an early age, Robert displayed a deep love for learning and a hard working, industrious spirit. He graduated magna cum laude from Fordham University with a B.S. in Economics and received his MBA from Harvard Business School.
His constant intellectual curiosity, his integrity, and his passion for the pursuit of knowledge underpinned a distinguished business career that began at First Boston Corporation in the Mergers and Acquisitions Group. He then went on to become a founding partner of Wasserstein Perella & Co., where he served as the Chairman of Wasserstein Perella Management Partners. In 1992, he founded Veritas Capital, a private equity firm based in New York. As Chairman and Managing Partner, he led the firm’s exceptional growth and success and served on the boards of many of the firm’s portfolio companies. Under his leadership, Veritas Capital achieved amongst the very highest and consistent returns for its investors in the industry. Mr. McKeon realized his good fortune in finding a career that he loved and always encouraged his children to pursue their own dreams, once referring to the ancient Greek ethos that happiness is the use of your talents along the lines of excellence.
Mr. McKeon pursued a diverse range of interests that reflected his intellectual curiosity, love of life, and spirit of adventure. He was an avid art and book collector, loved music, was a voracious reader, and an enthusiastic painter. He loved walking, jogging, skiing, shooting, tennis, and horseback riding. He traveled extensively with his family and particularly loved the natural beauty of East Hampton, Telluride, and the English countryside. He was a generous supporter of his alma maters, including his high school Albertus Magnus, and served on the board of trustees at Fordham University. In 2005, he established The Robert B. McKeon Fellowship Fund for Military Personnel at Harvard University. He was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, where he endowed The Robert B. McKeon Endowment Series on Military Strategy and Leadership. Mr. McKeon was appointed by the Governor of Connecticut to serve as Chairman of the state’s Health and Educational Facilities Authority, a public authority that finances hospitals and universities in Connecticut. For those who were privileged to know Bob, he will be profoundly missed and will remain a source of inspiration and love forever.
Mr. McKeon is survived by his wife Clare Elizabeth Smith McKeon, their son Alexander, his previous wife Patricia Finnegan and their children Robert, Jacqueline, and James. He also leaves his brothers and sister: Karen McKeon of Manahawkin, N.J., Donald McKeon of Buffalo, N.Y., Joseph McKeon of Waverly, N.Y., George McKeon of Walden, N.Y., Matthew McKeon of Albany, N.Y., and his late brother John McKeon of Cornwall, N.Y., as well as 16 nieces and nephews.
A private family service was held on Sept. 15, 2012. A memorial celebration is being planned for the future. Mr. McKeon’s family thanks the many friends who have already written and called with their condolences. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Kidney Cancer Association (Chicago, IL) in Memory of John T. McKeon and Robert B. McKeon.