Keith N. Hamilton was born in Virginia near the end of the Jim Crow era and attended segregated schools until middle school. His parents died while he was a youth, and he eventually moved to North Carolina, where he attended high school and college.
As a student at NC State University, he helped establish, on campus, a chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi, a national black fraternity, and also had his own Soul/R&B music radio program on the campus station.
He joined the LDS Church his senior year, served a mission to Puerto Rico, and went on to become the first black graduate of BYU’s J. Reuben Clark Law School.
Following law school he went on active duty with the U.S. Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps, and while stationed at Naval Station Treasure Island served as bishop of the San Francisco Bay Ward, and as a member of the SF Stake High Council, under the leadership of President Quentin L. Cook.
He has also worked as a university administrator for BYU and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and served two terms as a member of the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole. He was appointed Chairman of the Board from 2006-07 by former Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., becoming the first black Cabinet member in the state of Utah.
Keith is married and has six children, and currently is in the High Priest leadership in his ward in South Jordan, Utah. He also is a volunteer at the Jordan River Temple, where he serves as a veil worker.