Keith Babb

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Keith Wayne Babb

(Television broadcaster turned rancher and auctioneer)

Second Keith Babb.jpg

Born March 1, 1944
Place of birth missing

Resident of Ouachita Parish, Louisiana

Political Party Republican
Spouse Carolyn Ladner Babb

Keith Bryan Babb
Keena Babb Antley
Reverend Keith Franklin Babb
Bessie Mavis Hooks Babb

Religion Southern Baptist

Keith Wayne Babb (born March 1, 1944)[1] is the principal auctioneer of American Quarter Horses, having sold more than 40,000 horses at auctions in 28 states in a career exceeding 40 years. Babb resides on a 400-acre ranch near Monroe in Ouachita Parish in northeastern Louisiana.


Babb father, Keith Franklin Babb (1915-2005), was a native of Malvern in Hot Spring County, Arkansas (not to be confused with Hot Springs, Arkansas). For fifty years, the senior Babb was a pastor of Southern Baptist churches in southern Arkansas and North Louisiana, including Marion in Union Parish and after 1952 in Bastrop in Morehouse Parish.[2] His mother, the former Bessie Mavis Hooks (1917-2009),[3] was a teacher. While he was a boy living in Bastrop, Babb listened to radio station KTRY and became fascinated with the weekly Monday broadcast of livestock auctions.[4]

Babb has two children by his late wife, Carolyn Ladner Babb (1941-2017), a son, Keith Bryan Babb (born July 1973) and his wife, the former Alisa Leighton; and a daughter, Keena Babb Antley and her husband, Robert Myatt Antley.[2] Babb is an active deacon at Lakeshore Baptist Church in Monroe and a former trustee of the Louisiana Baptist Children's Home. He is a past president of the Greater Monroe Optimist Club.[5]


Babb procured a degree in journalism from the University of Louisiana at Monroe and is a former president of the ULL Alumni Association. In 1966, he attended the Superior School of Auctioneering in Decatur, Illinois.[5] He also worked for the former KNOE Radio and KNOE Television, the CBS affiliate in Monroe, both founded by former Governor James A. Noe. With Jack E. McCall (1926-1994), Babb was for several years the co-host of the KNOE Good Morning Ark-La-Miss program.[4] Babb is a director of Bank One Corporation of Louisiana.[5]

In 1971, Babb, known for his rich baritone voice,[6] became a full-time auctioneer handling the sale of real estate, farm machinery, and business liquidations to remain financially solvent. Then while reading through a trade magazine, he spotted an advertisement for an auctioneer of horses. This quickly became his passion.[4]

In 2004, Babb was inducted into the National Auctioneers Association Hall of Fame.[4] In 2015, he won the "Special Recognition Award" from the American Quarter Horse Racing Council, which was presented in ceremonies in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The award came with a custom-made cowboy hat and a hand-tooled saddle made in Brazil. According to the AQHA Q-Racing Journal, Babb is "considered the premier auctioneer in the country for American Quarter Horses."[6] The AQHA is headquartered in Amarillo, Texas.

Among the horses Babb has auctioned were First Down Dash and Mr Jess Perry, as well as record-setting Queen For Cash ($1.125 million in 1982) and Tempting Dash ( $1.7 million in 2013).[6] With Tempting Dash, Babb broke his own record from more than three decades earlier with Queen for Cash.[4]

On August 1, 2008, Governor Bobby Jindal appointed Babb, a Republican to the 13-member Louisiana Racing Commission, which regulates horse racing in the state. The commission was established in 1940 and is based in New Orleans. Babb is the member for Louisiana's 5th congressional district.[7][8]

Though Babb had planned to retire in 2014 at the age of seventy, he kept receiving calls to return to the auction stand: "I've been selling horses for forty years coast to coast, and I don't want to die on the road. I'm determined to retire, but right now I guess you could say I'm semi-retired. ..."[6] Babb added, "The road isn't as fun as it used to be. I don't want to die on the auction stand. But the big thing is, I don't want anyone to say, 'I wish that old man had retired a couple of years ago.' I'd like to go out on top."[4]


  1. Keith Babb (Wayne). Retrieved on September 16, 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Reverend Keith F. Babb. The Monroe News-Star (November 2005). Retrieved on September 17, 2020.
  3. Bessie Mavis Hooks Babb. Retrieved on February 2, 2015.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Greg Hilburn (October 2013). Hall of Fame auctioneer gets record price for quarter horse 28–29. Delta Business. Retrieved on February 3, 2015}; article no longer accessible on-line.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Keith Babb and Associates. Retrieved on February 2, 2015 website no longer accessible on-line.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Greg Hilburn (January 31, 2015). Golden voice: Auctioneer Keith Babb honored. The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved on September 17, 2020.
  7. Governor Bobby Jindal Announces Appointments to the Louisiana Racing Commission. (August 1, 2008). Retrieved on February 3, 2015; material no longer accessible on-line.
  8. About the Louisiana Racing Commission. Retrieved on September 17, 2020.