After a period at sea as purser, an editorship and work in the fashion photography went Keyes teaching in English to schools in New York City. This was a busy time: during the day, he taught, he wrote in the weekends and in the evenings he studied English and American literature. After graduating from Wayne State University taught creative writing to Keyes. In 1966 he became professor at the University of Ohio.
The book The Minds of Billy Milligan, on the first person who is acquitted because of dissociative identity disorder, is purchased for a film version The Crowded Room. When this film is released, will also follow-up The Milligan Wars appear in book form; It is now released only in Japanese .
Keyes died at the age of 86 after a pneumonia at home in South Florida.
- Flowers for Algernon (1966) en:IQ 185 and The genius in the mousetrap "
- The Touch (1968)
- The Fifth Sally (1980)
- The Minds of Billy Milligan (1981)
- Unveiling Claudia (1986)
- The Milligan Wars (1994)
- Algernon, Charlie and i: A writer's Journey (2004-memoirs)