John S. Knight
|John Shively Knight|
|Born||October 26, 1894
Bluefield, West Virginia
|Died||June 16, 1981
Cause of death
|Occupation||Newspaper publisher & editor|
|Known for||Co-founder of Knight Ridder newspapers & Co-Founder of John S. and James L. Knight Foundation|
Board member of
|Knight Ridder, American Society of Newspaper Editors, Associated Press|
|Spouse(s)||1) Katherine "Kitty" McLain
(married 1921 - d. 1929)
2) Beryl Zoller Comstock
(married 1932 - d. 1974)
3) Mary Elizabeth Augustus
(m. 1976 - d. 1980)
|Children||1) John Shively, Jr. (KIA 1945)
2) Charles Landon II (1924-2000)
3) Frank McLain (d. 1958)
|Parents||Charles Landon Knight
Clara Irene Shively
|Awards||Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing (1968)
Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award (1969)
John Peter Zenger Award
William Allen White Foundation Award
National Press Award
Poor Richard Gold Medal of Achievement Award
Early life and education
Knight was born in Bluefield, West Virginia, to Charles Landon Knight and Clara Irene Shively. Known to his family and friends as "Jack," he attended Cornell University but never graduated, leaving early to enlist in the Army. While at Cornell he was a member of the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity. However, he later received the degree of "War Alumnus."
In 1920 he started at his father's newspaper, The Akron Beacon Journal, as sportswriter, and moved up to managing editor before inheriting the paper in 1933. In 1923, Knight served as the fourth president of the Akron Host Lions Club. Beginning a nationwide expansion, Knight bought the Miami Herald in 1937. His national Knight Newspapers chain, headquartered in Akron, eventually also included the Philadelphia Inquirer, Chicago Daily News, Charlotte Observer, Tallahassee Democrat, Lexington Herald and Leader, and Macon Telegraph.
By 1973, his portfolio included fifteen newspapers. A year later, 1974, he merged his company with Ridder Publications to form Knight-Ridder Newspapers Inc.
Honors and awards
- His nationwide column, "The Editor's Notebook," won him the 1968 Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing.
- In 1969 Knight received the Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award as well as an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Colby College.
Family, retirement, end of life
John Knight lost first his wife, Katherine, and then two of three sons at early ages. Lieutenant John S. Knight, Jr. was killed in action near Münster, Germany on March 29, 1945.  Youngest son Frank McLain Knight died at age thirty on March 9, 1958 following emergency brain surgery. 
In retirement, John Knight devoted much of his time to the raising of Thoroughbred race horses at his Fourth Estate Stable based in Miami.
- The John S. Knight Auditorium is a large lecture hall in Leigh Hall, a building on the campus of the University of Akron.
- The John S. Knight Reading Room is located in Bierce Library, a building on the campus of the University of Akron.
- The John S. Knight Center is a large convention center in downtown Akron.
- The John S. Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines at Cornell University.
- Carmody, Deirdre. (June 17, 1981). "A Writer and a Businessman". The New York Times, p. 5.
- John S. Knight biography via University of Akron
- Whited, Charles. Knight: A Publisher in the Tumultuous Century. E P Dutton 1st edition December 1, 1988. ISBN 0-525-24723-8