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Alexander M. (Sandy) Keith, Associate Justice, 1989-1990; Chief Justice 1990-1998

Alexander M. (Sandy) Keith, 1989-1990; C.J. 1990-1998

Chief Justice Sandy Keith

Justice Keith served Minnesota in the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches. 



Alexander M. (Sandy) Keith was born November 22, 1928 in Rochester, Minnesota.  In 1950, he graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College.  From there, he went on to Yale Law School in 1953.  Additionally, he served as a U.S. Marine during the Korean War. 

Returning to Rochester, he served in the legal department at the Mayo Clinic from 1955-1960.  Keith began a private legal practice in 1960.  He was then elected to and served in the Minnesota Senate from 1959-1962.  As a state senator, Keith was a delegate to the 1960 Democratic National Convention held in Los Angeles, California. In 1962 Keith was elected as Minnesota Lieutenant Governor along with Governor Karl Rolvaag.  The pair served from 1963-1967.  In 1966, Keith challenged Rolvaag for the Democratic endorsement for governor. He had the DFL endorsement, but lost the primary to Rolvaag. When his term as Lieutenant Governor ended in 1967 he returned to his private practice in Rochester. 

Governor Rudy Perpich appointed Keith to the Minnesota Supreme Court on February 1, 1989.  He was appointed as Chief Justice on December 1, 1990.  He served in that capacity in until January 29, 1998.  His tenure as Chief was 7 years, 1 month, and 29 days. 

Keith and his wife Marion married on April 29, 1955.  They have two sons, Ian and Douglas.

Chief Justice Sandy Keith died at his home in Rochester, MN on October 3, 2020 at the age of 91.

You may read more about Chief Justice Keith in the resources on this guide.

Alexander "Sandy" M. Keith signature

Alexander "Sandy" M. Keith's signature from the Minnesota Supreme Court's Roll of Attorneys,1858-1970, p 323 (October 23, 1956), available online at: