Philip Hampson Knight, an American businessman worth a billion dollars, was born on February 24, 1938. He is the co-founder, chairman emeritus, and former chairman and chief executive officer of Nike, Inc. Forbes ranked Knight as the twenty-fourth richest person in the world on July 23, 2020, based on his $54.5 billion net worth.
He is also the founder and CEO of Laika, a company that produces stop-motion films. Knight is a graduate of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the University of Oregon. He ran track for Bill Bowerman at the University of Oregon, with whom he would later co-found Nike.
Knight has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to Oregon Health & Science University and his alma maters. He has donated over $2 billion to the three charities.
Beginnings of Phil Knight
Philip Hampson Knight was born in Portland, Oregon on February 24, 1938. His parents are Lota Knight (née Hatfield) and Bill Knight, a lawyer and later a newspaper publisher. Knight was raised in Portland’s Eastmoreland neighbourhood and attended Cleveland High School.
He completed his education at the University of Oregon, where he was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and a middle-distance runner. He was also a sports journalist for the Oregon Daily Emerald. In 1959, he received a degree in journalism from the college.
The Profession of Phil Knight
After graduating from the University of Oregon, Knight enlisted in the United States Army, serving one year on active duty and seven years in the Army Reserve. After completing his military service, Knight attended Standard Graduate School of Business and graduated in 1962 with a master’s degree in business administration.
The subsequent graduation trip included a stop in Kobe, Japan, where he discovered Onitsuka Co.’s Tiger brand running shoes. He was able to arrange a meeting with Mr. Onitsuka after being blown away by the shoes’ high quality and affordable price. This is how he obtained distribution rights for Tiger in the western United States.
While waiting for the first Tiger samples to be transported to Portland, a process that took more than a year, he obtained a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) position with Coopers & Lybrand and then Price Waterhouse. He was also an accounting professor at Portland State University (PSU).
After he finally received the Tiger running shoes, he sent samples to Bill Bowerman, his former track coach from the University of Oregon. In addition to placing an order for the shoes, Bowerman also approached Knight about becoming a business partner. Thus, on January 25, 1964, Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS) was founded; this is the company that would eventually become Nike.
Knight started selling Tiger shoes out of the trunk of his green Plymouth Valiant at various track events in the Pacific Northwest. By 1969, he had earned enough from these sales to quit his job as a certified public accountant and work full-time for Blue Ribbon Sports. On the advice of their first employee, Jeff Johnson, the company was named Nike after the Greek goddess of victory with wings. In 1971, a graphic design student, Carolyn Davidson, was paid $35 to create the iconic “swoosh” logo for Nike. Later, she received an undisclosed amount of Nike stock.
Over the next four decades, Knight transformed Nike from a fledgling sneaker company into one of the most recognisable corporations in the world. In November of 2004, he resigned as CEO of Nike but remained chairman of the board. Knight resigned as chairman of Nike in June 2015 and left the company’s board of directors in June 2016.
What Is the Amount of Phil Knight’s Wealth?
Phil Knight is a $40 billion American billionaire, sports enthusiast, and philanthropist. Phil Knight amassed his fortune as the founder and largest individual shareholder of Nike Inc.
NBA Fans Were Shocked When Nike Co-Founder Phil Knight Submitted a $2 Billion Bid to Acquire the Portland Trail Blazers.
Phil Knight Fortune
Phil Knight established himself in the sports industry as a co-founder of Nike. Nike is a well-known brand. You have worn their shoes or a sweater or a similar item in the past. Knight’s total net worth of $47.2 billion is attributed to his work with Nike, according to Forbes.
With all of that money, his next truly monumental undertaking is already sending shockwaves through the sports world.
Knight met his wife, Penelope “Penny” Parks, while working at Portland State University, and the two wed on September 13, 1968. They own a home in La Quinta, California, where they reside.
Knight donated $3.5 million to Republican Knute Buehler during the 2018 Oregon gubernatorial election. Matthew Knight, son of Knight, died in a scuba diving accident in El Salvador in 2004. Another of Knight’s sons, Travis Knight, runs the Laika animation studio. Phil Knight serves as the board chairman.