After Keith Havens graduated from Robbinsdale High School in 1941, he served as a camouflage expert in the United States Army. He then studied at the Minneapolis School of Art from 1947 to 1949, and led the Children’s Saturday Studio Classes as a student. Part of his education was at the college’s Outdoor School of Painting in Grand Marais, along Lake Superior.
He went on to a full career of painting, teaching, and inventing. His works were in watercolor, oil, charcoal, and ink. He was an author, artist, inventor, and creator of toys and games.
Havens loved puns, and his "Vegetable Zoo" sculptures and "Wordy Bird" caricatures depicted creatures like the "One Fell Swoop" and the "Stool Pigeon." His imagination was never-ending: his images were on gallery walls; his caricatures graced magazines and calendars; his patents proved his ingenuity.
He spent many retirement years on his beloved North Shore, where he died in 2006.