An only son born in Kentwood, Louisiana, Paul Kennon studied architecture and obtained his Bachelor's degree at Texas A&M College. He received his Master of Architecture degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. From 1957 to 1964 he worked with Eero Saarinen as a senior designer on Saarinen's later projects.
In 1964, he became Associate Professor of Architecture at Rice University and Ford Foundation Resident Advisor in Santiago, Chile, for the community facilities program which included Harvard and M.I.T. During this period, he was a Visiting Professor at the Universidad de Chile and Universidad de Catlica where he was named "Honorary Professor."
In 1966 Kennon returned to teaching at Rice University as Associate Director of the School of Architecture.
Paul Kennon became President of CRSS in 1976. He remained an active leader in the design studio, and his projects received over one hundred design awards, including AIA Honor and Progressive Architecture awards. In 1976, he was named to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects for his contribution to the profession in design.
Kennon chaired many national and regional design competitions, and lectured extensively on his work at national conferences and major universities, including Amherst, Harvard, UCLA, Rice, Kansas, Colorado, Mississippi State, and New York University. Kennon was appointed dean of the Rice University School of Architecture in 1989.
With Bill Caudill, he co-authored Architecture and You. He was a juror of the American Academy in Rome Fellow-in-Architecture program and was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies.
Paul Kennon died in 1990 at age 55.