Brooks James Keogh was born August 4, 1914, at Williston, the son of Frank and Elizabeth (Carney) Keogh. He grew up near Keene on the Keogh Ranch founded by his father and uncle in 1899. He attended rural schools, Williston High School and the College of St. Thomas in Minnesota, graduating in 1938.
Brooks worked for a Montana oil company before entering the U.S. Marine Corps in 1944. After the war, he started a Hereford cattle partnership with his father and began a Quarter horse breeding program.
He married Kathleen “Kay” Hyland in 1944, and they had three children. Kay died in 1970, he married Elizabeth Coughlin in 1972.
Brooks was a founder and the only president of the Sanish Rodeo Association, North Dakota Stockmen’s Association president in 1954-1956 and American National Cattlemen’s Association president in 1964-1966. He was a National Livestock Producers board member, an original trustee of the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and active in the McKenzie County Grazing Association.
Brooks was honored as the NDSU Saddle & Sirloin Club’s Agriculturalist of the Year in 1966, inducted into the ND Agriculture Hall of Fame and received the NDSA Top Hand Award in 1982. The Greater North Dakotan Award recognized his lifelong service to industry, friends, state and country in 1983.
He owned and operated the historic Keogh Ranch until his death on July 31, 1984.