Barbie and Ken parted ways after nearly 40 years together – living together in multiple dream houses, driving multiple convertibles, and switching careers multiple times – but it wasn’t without pain or regret.
Mattel then took steps to regain ownership and unveil a diverse line-up of Ken dolls with diverse skin tones, hair styles, and disabilities.
Early Life and Education
Ken is an esteemed classical alto saxophonist who has performed as a soloist with the Metropolitan Opera, New York Symphony and Concordia Orchestra, among many other distinguished ensembles. Additionally he writes and serves as an inspirational national keynote speaker.
He has participated in various educational projects, from writing textbooks and developing computer programs for reading instruction to being the patron of Dyslexia Action and past president of Home-Start Hertfordshire.
Ken is co-founder and former Chairman of the CEO Forum on Education and Technology. Additionally, he serves on several company boards. Ken’s work in 21st century skills education has gained much media coverage; he has written multiple books as well as being interviewed both radio and television programs.
Ken Hoyt has dedicated over thirty years of his professional career to career education. He founded a private foundation dedicated to supporting this area and sits on both NCDA and AACE boards; additionally, he served on Career Education Review editorial boards before speaking at several conferences as a keynote speaker.
He currently serves as President of Ketchum in Denver, leading writing workshops and providing client service across industries. With more than 35 years of communications experience under his belt and an affinity for storytelling as a means of defining corporate and personal agendas, his expertise lies in narrative that can convey messages with impactful stories that make an impressionful impression on audiences.
He has appeared in productions such as The 39 Steps, Private Lives, God of Carnage and Vanya & Sonya & Masha & Spike at Little Theatre of the Rockies. Additionally he provides coaching for actors for film, TV and Broadway roles.
Achievement and Honors
Ken has won multiple accolades and awards for his teaching. He received the 2015 NSF CAREER award, as well as being recognized with Journal of Applied Mechanics award for Eulerian-frame fluid-solid computational modeling research. Furthermore, he is published author and co-author of Fundamentals of B Boy Dance textbook.
Ken combines teaching and performing as a professional trombonist. He serves as principal trombonist of Capital Wind Symphony and plays for internationally-recognized trombone ensemble Tres Bone.
He choreographed Off-Broadway’s inaugural Hip Hop musical Jam On The Groove and earned a Drama Desk Award nomination. Additionally, he has received multiple honors in the Breaking community such as Lifetime Achievement Awards from The Mighty IV and Hall of Fame Living Legend Awards from Amherst College.
Ken served as Chief of the Internet Bureau at the New York Attorney General’s Office, pioneering groundbreaking enforcement actions against spyware distributors, spammers, crammers, online gambling operators and websites that endanger minors and children. Ken also boasts extensive expertise in privacy and data security as an advisor to technology companies.
Mattel introduced Earring Magic Ken as part of their response to young girls’ requests that Barbie’s partner become cooler, sparking controversy with LGBTQ consumers who felt his outfit and necklace resembled those worn at gay raves, sparking either queer infiltration or thoughtless appropriation by heterosexuals. It remains controversial today.