Phil Keith

Phil Keith

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Phil has a degree in History from Harvard and has done Masters work at the Naval War College and Long Island University. After graduation from Harvard Phil went directly into the Navy and became a Naval Aviator. During three combat deployments to Vietnam Phil served with distinction and was awarded, among other decorations, the Purple Heart, the Presidential Unit Citation, the Air Medal, and the Navy Commendation Medal. After his wartime service he rose to the rank of Commander in the Naval Reserve and was also designated as a licensed Captain by the US Coast Guard. As a business executive he worked for two Fortune 500 firms holding several senior positions in sales and marketing. He was also a COO and CEO for four start-up technology firms specializing in the sales and marketing of high-end software products. In 1999 Phil was selected for the Executive in Residence Program at Long Island University's Business Division and for the next six years taught both undergraduate and graduate courses in business at LIU, Southampton. In 2007 Phil accepted an assignment to teach business topics and writing classes at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence. RI. Phil has authored two major non-fiction works under contract to St. Martin's Press. The first is a Vietnam book entitled "Blackhorse Riders," and is the story of Alpha Troop, 1st Squadron, the 11th Armored Cavalry and a battle and rescue operation that took place in March, 1970. It is one of the most exciting stories of heroism to come from that war. "Blackhorse Riders" was the winner of the USA Book News Military History book-of-the-year for 2012; a finalist for the 2013 Colby Award and won the 2013 Silver Medal for History from the Military Writer's Society of America. The second book is entitled: "Fire Base Illingworth" and re-tells the harrowing story of a ferocious battle in the middle of the jungle in Vietnam in April, 1970, where a forward-operating Army fire base is nearly over-run and destroyed by a North Vietnamese Army regiment bent on killing or capturing every soldier. "Fire Base Illingworth" was released by St. Martin's Press on October 29, 2013. In October, 2011, Phil completed a montage of the Harvard Alumni who have been awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest award for valor. The book, published by Create Space from Amazon, is entitled "Crimson Valor." Eighteen Harvard alumni have earned the Medal of Honor (more than any other college or university other than West Point and the Naval Academy). "Crimson Valor" was presented to all living Medal of Honor awardees at their 2012 gathering in Boston. Phil has completed an original e-work entitled "Missed Signals," which chronicles the events that led up to the bombing of the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen, in October, 2000. "Missed Signals" was published in July, 2013, under the Kindle Singles program and is also available in print form from Create Space. "Stay the Rising Sun," is a chronicle of the Battle of the Coral Sea in May, 1942, and is also the story of the aircraft carrier USS Lexington, CV-2, and how this ship and its remarkable crew positively affected the outcome of the war in the Pacific in WW II. "Stay the Rising Sun" was published by Quarto Press May 1, 2015, and was nominated for the 2016 Admiral Morison Award for Naval Literature and won a Bronze Medal for History Writing from the Military Writer's Society of America. Launched in summer 2017 was a mystery-thriller entitled "Settling Up." Phil penned a fast-faced story about a Vietnam veteran with a severe case of PTSD, who is also afflicted by Agent Orange. Before the disease takes its ultimate toll, he has decided to seek vengeance on a number of others who participated in the Vietnam War whose acts of treachery, cowardice, or greed harmed other veterans of Vietnam and remain unpunished. People with checkered pasts disappear--then they start turning up dead, mostly in very gruesome ways related to their alleged sins. Can anyone stop him? Does anyone really want to? A rookie FBI agent with a razor sharp mind and incredible good looks crosses his path. What will she do? Phil's next book is a biography of the amazing Eugene Bullard, the son of a Georgia slave who became the first African-American fighter pilot in history. Bullard flew for France in WW I, won the Croix de Guerre, opened a jazz club in Paris after the war, "hung out" with Picasso, Hemingway, Langston Hughes, Louie Armstrong (and many more). He was famous for his flight exploits long before the Tuskegee Airman came on the scene. Bullard also spied for the French as the Nazis invaded Paris, narrowly escaping death again in WW II. The book is titled "All Blood Runs Red," and was published on November 5, 2019, by Hanover Square Press (Harper Collins, Inc.). In addition, Phil is a columnist for the Press Newspaper Group and won 2013 and 2015 New York Press Association First Place and Second Place awards for "Best Opinion Column." He also writes for magazines, and has published two other fictional novels, "Animus" and its sequel, "Belladonna." Phil teaches (with best-selling author Tom Clavin) a writing and publishing seminar for both novice and aspiring authors. Phil is the past President of the Long Island Authors Group; a member of the Town of Southampton Planning Board; belongs to VFW Post 5350, American Legion Post 924, the DAV, Vietnam Veterans of America; and, lives in Southampton, New York, with his partner Laura and son Pierce.
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