O'Keeffe, Daniel Joseph (‘Danno Keeffe’) (1907–67), Gaelic footballer, was born 14 February 1907 in Fermoy, Co. Cork, one of two sons and two daughters of Daniel O'Keeffe and Mary O'Keeffe (née Tobin) of Fermoy. The family moved to Tralee, Co. Kerry, when he was nine, and he was educated at the local CBS. His football career started with Tralee junior side The Rangers and he later joined Strand Street – later to become Kerins O'Rahilly's – where he won county championship medals in 1933 and 1939, and lost county finals in 1930, 1936, and 1940. He was goalkeeper on the Kerry team that won the Junior All-Ireland title in 1930, and the following year he won his first Senior All-Ireland medal when he was named in the team for the final as a late replacement for the injured Johnny O'Riordan, as they beat Kildare by 1–11 to 0–8. Thus began a senior inter-county career that was to last until 1948 and produce a then-record seven All-Ireland winners medals and ensure his reputation as one of the greatest Gaelic footballers of any era and a candidate for the title of best goalkeeper of all time. The 1931 victory was the third in a row for Kerry – their first three-in-a-row – and in 1932 ‘Danno’ as he was known, won his second medal as Kerry equalled Wexford's 1915–18 side by winning four titles in a row, beating Mayo by 2–7 to 2–4. By 1937 only four of the 1929–32 team remained: Danno, Johnny Walsh (qv), and the brothers Tim and John Joe Landers (qv), as Kerry won another title, beating Cavan 4–4 to 1–7 after a replay. Kerry won a second three-in-a-row in the years 1939–41, beating Meath and Galway (twice), and O'Keeffe picked up his seventh and final medal in 1946 when Roscommon were defeated 2–8 to 0–10 in a replay after two late goals by Paddy Burke and ‘Gega’ O'Connor (qv) in the first game earned Kerry a second chance. All told, he played in a record thirteen All-Ireland finals during 1931–47, including three replays, among which was the famous 1947 defeat to Cavan in the Polo Grounds in New York. His last game in a Kerry jersey at Croke Park was the 1948 All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Roscommon.
In almost twenty years at the highest level, he won every honour possible in the game, including over a dozen Munster Championship medals and two National League winners medals in 1931 and 1932. He was an automatic choice for the Munster side from 1931 to 1948 and played in seven Railway Cup finals, winning two medals, in 1941 (as captain) and 1948. He also toured the US with the Kerry team on three occasions. He was fortunate to play behind two of the finest full-backs ever to play the game, Joe Barrett (qv) in 1931–2, and subsequently his clubmate Joe Keohane (qv), who dealt with the forwards and allowed him to concentrate on the ball. He had all the strengths of a great goalkeeper: bravery, uncanny anticipation, a cool temperament, and reliability. He had the ability to make difficult saves look simple, and presented a formidable obstacle to any opposing forward. One of the characteristics of his play is that he rarely attempted to handle a low ball in the goalmouth, preferring instead to fly-kick it away to safety. A household name in his day, ‘Danno’ reserved one of his finest performances for a losing final, playing superbly in Cavan's 1947 victory over Kerry in New York. He will also be remembered for almost single-handedly defying Laois in the 1937 All-Ireland semi-final, when but for him Laois might well have gone on to win the All-Ireland. In 1984 he was named as goalkeeper on the GAA Football Team of the Century, and in 2000 was voted as goalkeeper on the GAA Team of the Millennium, both times being chosen ahead of many more recent candidates. His record haul of medals was not surpassed until 1986.
An employee of Kerry county council in Tralee, he rose to the position of clerical officer-in-charge of staff in the roads department. Regarded as a shrewd but kind and jovial character, he remained an extremely popular figure in his adopted home town until his death. He maintained a keen interest in football, and rarely missed a match in which Kerry were involved. He married (1939) Mary Moriarty from Blennerville, Tralee; they had one son and one daughter. He died suddenly 2 June 1967 at his home at Castlecountess, Tralee, and is buried in the Rath cemetery, Tralee.