Dennis O’Keefe was born and raised in St. John’s. He attended St. Bonaventure’s College and graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1967 with a B.A. (History) and a B.Ed. Following post-graduate studies at Memorial he received a Master’s Degree (History) in 1978.
Dennis had a 30-year career as an educator. He was a teacher/department head at Brother Rice High School, St. Patrick’s Hall and Beaconsfield High School in St. John’s. He is a consumer activist having established the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices and Consumer Power.
His political career began in 1997 when he was elected as Councillor-at-Large. In 2005 he was elected Deputy-Mayor, a position he held for three years before resigning to run in a by-election for the position of Mayor. Dennis won the by-election and was sworn in as Mayor of the City of St. John’s on June 9, 2008. He was re-elected as Mayor of St. John’s in 2009 and recently won his third mayoral election in 2013 for another four-year term. He is active in the development of the Cruise Ship Industry in this Province. Currently he is the Chair of the Cruise St. John’s Committee and Past-President of the Cruise Association of Newfoundland and Labrador. Mayor O’Keefe is also chair of the Rotary Sunshine Park committee.
He is married to the former Grace Lahey and they have two children, Carolyn, son-in-law – Tim; and Denise, son-in-law – Greg; and three grandchildren, Kate, Colin and Matthew.