Keith Kerr is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and has a Master's Degree from San Francisco State University. At City College of San Francisco he was faculty member, Chair of the Business Department, Dean of Instruction, and Dean of Instructional Support and Special Assistant to the President before retiring in 1995 (although continuing to teach as an adjunct professor).
Kerr enlisted as a private at Fort Ord on September 21, 1953 and served in the 513th Military Intelligence Group in Germany after the Korean War. After leaving Active Army service, Kerr served in the U. S. Army Reserve and was commissioned a First Lieutenant in June 1960. Kerr retired from the U. S. Army Reserve in 1986 as a Colonel.
Kerr was commissioned in the California State Military Reserve, a state (but not federal) defense force, and was given the rank of Brigadier General on February 21, 1991. The brigadier general rank in a state organization is not recognized by the federal government where his U.S. Army rank for retirement purposes remains a Colonel.
During his tenure with the California State Military Reserve, Kerr was the Inspector General, Chief of Staff, Commanding General of the Northern Area Command at the Alameda Naval Supply Depot in Alameda, California.
On December 10, 2003, Kerr revealed in an interview with the New York Times that he is gay.
The interview was critical of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. Also coming out in the interview were Brigadier General Virgil A. Richard of the Army and Rear Admiral Alan M. Steinman of the United States Coast Guard. At the time they were the highest ranking members of the military to acknowledge being gay. In the interview he said, "The culture of the military is that you go along and conform...And you keep your private life to yourself."
He became a member of the Servicemembers' Legal Defense Network]. Kerr was a supporter of John Kerry in his 2004 Presidential run.
On June 27, 2007, Kerr was listed on a Hillary Clinton press release as a member of the Steering Committee of the "LGBT Americans For Hillary."
He currently lives in Santa Rosa, California.