Keegan-Michael Key was born in Southfield, Michigan and raised in Detroit. He was adopted as a child by a black father and a white mother. In 1989, he graduated from Shrine Catholic High School in Royal Oak, Michigan. Key attended the University of Detroit Mercy as an undergraduate and earned his Master of Fine Arts in Theater at Pennsylvania State University. While at The University of Detroit Mercy, he was a brother of Phi Kappa Theta.