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Longest Serving U.S. Prosecutor Dies at 89, a Year After His Retirement

Posted Nov 22, 2011 11:57 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Correction: A Justice Department lawyer who was the longest-serving federal prosecutor in U.S. history has died at the age of 89.

John “Jack” Keeney retired last year after working for the Justice Department for 59 years, the Washington Post reports. Keeney worked on organized crime cases under Attorney General Robert Kennedy, helped negotiate a treaty with Switzerland in the 1970s that gave U.S. investigators access to Swiss bank accounts, and had a role in the Watergate investigation, according to the Post and CNN. A Justice Department building is named in his honor.

His only prosecution regret, Keeney once told National Public Radio, was prosecuting alleged Communists in the 1950s.

Keeney served in World War II as a B-17 pilot. His plane was shot down and he was held in a Nazi prison camp during the final months of the war.

Updated at 1:24 p.m. to correct the name of the country Keeney negotiated a treaty with to Switzerland.

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