Born in Newtownards, McKee took an engineering apprenticeship before joining the family estate agency. He was elected to the Belfast Corporation for the Ulster Unionist Party in 1934, and in 1938 took a commission in the Territorial Army's anti-aircraft brigade. He served with the British Expeditionary Force and spent part of World War II based in the Faroe Islands. He was demobbed in 1945 and returned to the council, becoming High Sheriff of Belfast in 1947 and Deputy Lord Mayor in 1948. Finally, in 1957, he was elected as the Lord Mayor of Belfast, while he received a knighthood at the end of his term of office, in 1959.
- "Tributes paid to ex-Lord Mayor; Obituary", Belfast News Letter, 7 January 2003
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