Off the Record

Camille Keith, past-president and long-time Press Club member, has died.

January 7, 2021

Camille Keith

Camille Keith, an original employee of Southwest Airlines Co. and the first woman officer of a major domestic airline, died at her Dallas home on Dec. 30 after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

She was 75.

Keith, who retired in 2006 as vice president of special marketing, spent 35 years with Southwest.

The Fort Worth native attended Texas Tech University and later earned a bachelor’s degree with a double major in journalism and broadcasting from Texas Christian University.

After a stint with WFAA-TV (Channel 8), Keith joined Read-Poland Advertising, where she worked on the Southwest Airlines account just as the fledgling carrier took flight. Southwest president Lamar Muse was so impressed that he created a position for her in 1972.

She was president of the Press Club of Dallas from 1988 to 1989

Keith with Bert Shipp – 2012

Keith was the first woman inducted into the Texas Tech University School of Mass Communications’ Hall of Fame, where she chaired the national advisory board. She is also a former member of the Texas Tech Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Her favorite recognition came from Women in Communications in 1993, when she shared the National Headliner Award with TV anchor and commentator Barbara Walters.

Two years later, she was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the first-ever White House Conference on Travel and Tourism.

Keith with Liz Oliphant – 2013

A service for the family will be held at 2 p.m. Jan. 9 at Central Christian Church in Dallas, where Keith was a longtime member. It will be streamed on Zoom for those who want to participate remotely.

For information, contact the church at 214-526-7291 or

Memorials may be made to the charity of your choice, the Alzheimer’s Association or the Press Club of Dallas Foundation’s scholarship program. Or, the family suggests, perform an act of kindness in Keith’s honor.

Excerpts taken from Cheryl Hall’s DMN obituary – click here for the full obituary.

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