Jeff Keane

Jeff Keane


Jeff Keane was born in 1958. Two years later, his father, Bil Keane, started chasing him around the house begging him to do something funny. So began his career as a cartoon model for The Family Circus. Today, the popular cartoon panel appears daily in nearly 1,500 newspapers worldwide, making it the most widely syndicated panel in the world.

As the inspiration for the Jeffy character, Keane worked alongside his father for years, seeking out Bil’s invaluable guidance and advice. When his father died in November 2011, Jeff was already firmly at the helm of the great feature and in position to continue his father’s tradition of putting a smile on readers’ faces every day.

Raised in Arizona, Keane moved to California to attend the University of Southern California where in 1980 he received his bachelor of fine arts degree in drama. After graduation, in an attempt to have a freer schedule for activities such as auditions, he returned to his cartoon roots and began to assist his father. Jeff started out just answering mail and compiling books, but his duties were soon expanded to consist of all aspects of creating the daily cartoon: writing, penciling, inking and coloring.

In 2007, Keane was elected President of the National Cartoonists Society, recognized as the premier cartoonists’ organization in the world and was reelected in 2009, becoming only the fourth two-term president in NCS history. Along with other members of the NCS and the helping hand of the USO, Jeff has made numerous visits to military bases and hospitals around the world, including both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Jeff and his wife, Melinda, live in California where they created three cartoon characters of their own: Spencer, Matilda and Olivia. Keane now chases his kids around begging them to do something funny, proving that The Family Circus really does keep going around in circles.