A twentieth-century American author, he is best known for his 1966 novel, Flowers for Algernon. The novel, based on Keyes' 1959 short story of the same title, won the Nebula Award.
He studied psychology at Brooklyn College and subsequently edited Marvel Science Stories, a popular pulp magazine.
His 1981 novel, The Minds of Billy Milligan, was adapted into a 2008 film entitled The Crowded Room.
He married Aurea Georgina Vazquez in 1952. He and Vazquez became parents to two daughters.
His famous novel, Flowers for Algernon, was made into an Academy Award-winning film starring Cliff Robertson.