Ernest Anthony Kehr Jr. was born in Davos, Switzerland on Sept. 10, 1911, the son of Ernest Sr. and Martha. They immigrated to the United States in 1913 settling in Astoria. His father was successful as a pastry chef who became a caterer, allowing them to purchase a new home at 127-10 103 Ave. in South Richmond Hill in 1921.
Tragedy struck the family in July 1926, when his nine-year-old sister, Martha, was struck and killed by a car while playing out front in the street.
Ernest originally worked for the New York Telephone Co., but his love of stamp collecting took him to a new career in newspapers, radio, television and books. He became stamp collecting’s most distinguished spokesman.
Active in the Catholic Church, he became the personal philatelic stamp advisor to Francis Cardinal Spellman Archbishop of New York, who had his own stamp museum. Ernest was appointed a Knight of the Holy Sepulcher.
A lifelong heavy smoker and bicyclist, he passed away in his easy chair at home at the age of 75 on November 13, 1986 of a heart attack.