William McKeen

Professor, Department of Journalism

About William McKeen

William McKeen is the author of eight books and the editor of four more, including Outlaw Journalist (W.W. Norton, 2008), a biography of Hunter S. Thompson; Mile Marker Zero (Crown, 2011), a non-fiction narrative about Key West; Everybody Had an Ocean (Chicago Review Press, 2017), a nonfiction narrative about the intersection of music and crime in Los Angeles during the 1960s.; Highway 61 (W.W. Norton, 2003), a memoir of a 6,000-mile road trip with his teenage son; and two anthologies, Rock and Roll is Here to Stay (W. W. Norton, 2000) and Literary Journalism: A Reader (Wadsworth, 2000). Before beginning his teaching career, he worked for several newspapers and magazines, including The Saturday Evening Post, The American Spectator, The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Ky.), The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post and The Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times. His writing has appeared in Holiday, American History, Maxim, the Saturday Evening Post, Fortune, Fast Company, and many other newspapers and magazines. He has appeared on “The Today Show,” “The CBS Evening News,” “On the Media,” “Here and Now” and many other news programs. His major teaching areas are literary journalism, history of journalism, reporting, feature writing and history of rock’n’roll.


  • PhD, higher education administration, The University of Oklahoma
  • MA, journalism, Indiana University
  • BA, history, Indiana University