A tribute to Don Keough

From Michael Smurfit

The passing of Don Keough last week was a deeply sad event for me personally and also sad for Ireland, the country of his forebears to which he gave great support.

Don was a wonderful humanitarian, full of laughter and life, had an extraordinarily successful business career with Coca-Cola and then as chairman of boutique investment bank Allen & Company. He was also responsible for bringing Warren Buffett and Bill Gates to the K Club along with many other important American business people for a very successful conference some years back.

He also has been a huge supporter of his alma mater Notre Dame and introduced me to Notre Dame. Over the years Don made some significant donations to the university.

He also shared my interest in horses in that we jointly owned Media Puzzle who went on to win the Melbourne Cup.


Don had a very successful marriage with his wife of 65 years, Mickie. He was blessed with having a wonderful family and he had a legion of friends all over the world who not only respected him, but both admired and loved him.

Truly he will be missed as they don’t make too many men like Don Keough, that’s for sure. I was extraordinarily privileged to be able to call him a close and personal friend.

Don leaves behind a wonderful legacy matched by his many achievements in life.

May he rest in peace.