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Phil Keith

Phil has a degree in History from Harvard and has done Masters work at the Naval War College and Long Island University. After graduation from Harvard Phil went directly into the Navy and became a Naval Aviator. During three tours in Vietnam Phil served with distinction and was awarded, among other decorations, the Air Medal for Gallantry, the Purple Heart and the Navy Commendation Medal. After his wartime service he rose to the rank of Commander in the Naval Reserves.

As a business executive he worked for two Fortune 500 firms holding several senior positions in sales and marketing. He was also a COO and CEO for four start-up technology firms specializing in the sales and marketing of high-end software products. In 1999 Phil was selected for the Executive in Residence Program at Long Island University's Business Division and for the next six years taught both undergraduate and graduate courses in business at LIU, Southampton. In 2007 Phil accepted an assignment to teach business topics at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence where he still teaches today.

Phil is a columnist for the Southampton Press, a feature writer for two local magazines, has just published his first fictional novel and is working on two other manuscripts. He is a licensed Coast Guard Captain and enjoys skippering private yachts in and around the east end of Long Island. He lives in Southampton, NY with his partner Laura and son Pierce.

Published Works:

Stay the Rising Sun

Stay the Rising Sun: The True Story of USS Lexington, Her Valiant Crew, and Changing the Course of World War II.

Her crew called her the "Lady Lex" - see how her fierce battle turned the tide in the Allies' favor.

In May 1942, the United States' first naval victory against the Japanese in the Coral Sea was marred by the loss of the aircraft carrier USS Lexington. Another carrier was nearly ready for launch when the news arrived, so the navy changed her name to Lexington, confusing the Japanese.

The men of the original "Lady Lex" loved their ship and fought hard to protect her. They were also seeking revenge for the losses sustained at Pearl Harbor. Crippling attacks by the Japanese left her on fire and dead in the water. A remarkable 90 percent of the crew made it off the burning decks before Lexington had to be abandoned. In all the annals of the Second World War, there is hardly a battle story more compelling.

Publisher: Zenith Press, 2015

Fire Base Illingworth

In the early morning hours of April 1, 1970, more than four hundred North Vietnamese soldiers charged out into the open and tried to overrun Fire Support Base Illingworth.

The battle went on, mostly in the dark, for hours. Exposed ammunition canisters were hit and blew up, causing a thunderous explosion inside the outpost that left dust so thick it jammed the handheld weapons of the GIs. Much of the combat became hand-to-hand. In all twenty five brave Americans lost their lives and another fifty-four were wounded. Nearly one-hundred enemy bodies were recovered. It was one of the most vicious small unit firefights in the history of US forces in Vietnam.

As in his acclaimed book, Blackhorse Riders, a finalist for the 2013 Colby Award and Silver Medalist for the 2013 Military Writer's Society Award in History, Phil Keith uncovers a harrowing true story of bravery and sacrifice by the men who fought valiantly to hold FSB Illingworth—a tale never before told and one that will not soon be forgotten.

--St. Martin's Press, October, 2013

La Parmigiana Family Cookbook

Favorite recipes and family lore from the landmark restaurant, La Parmigiana, in Southampton, New York. The dishes featured are the most popular and most requested from the restaurant's extensive menu—and many of them have been family secrets, shared here for the very first time. The cookbook is also intended to be a testimonial to the founder of the family business, Celestino Gambino; who decided to move his wife and all seven of their children from Sicily, in 1973, to start a new life—and a new business—in America. Mr. Gambino was the driving force behind the restaurant and the food business for more than thirty-five years. He was also a generous benefactor in his adopted community and a man of great integrity.

Crimson Valor

The Medal of Honor is America's highest award for valor in combat. Harvard grads have more MOH's than any other college or university in America (other than West Point and Annapolis). Crimson Valor contains the biographies of the seventeen men who are alumni of Harvard that have been awarded the Medal of Honor.

Blackhorse Riders

A desperate last stand, an extraordinary rescue mission, and the Vietnam battle America forgot. A true story of a remarkable rescue mission that occurred deep in the jungles of Vietnam in March, 1970. Also available on audiobook.

View the book trailer for Blackhorse Riders!


Fictional terror attack on the Hamptons. An Al Qaeda cell emerges from an abandoned military base in Montauk, New York, ready for another violent act of sabotage, this time aimed at the fabulously wealthy Hamptons. The terrorists have been hired by an unstable billionaire who has hatched a plot to wipe out his business competition and effectively ruin the local economy.

Against a backdrop of glitz and glamour hurricanes of violence bear down on the totally clueless. Suicide bombers descend on a synagogue packed with worshippers; terrorists infiltrate a holiday party of local luminaries; and, hostages are taken at a private school for children of the rich and famous.

"Animus" races forward with murders, kidnappings, betrayals, and the arrival of a secret team from Delta Force. A wild chase across the wind-swept rocks around the Montauk Lighthouse will provide a slam-bang climax to the tale.


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