John S. Knight

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John Shively Knight
John S. Knight on Wall Street with newspaper.jpg
Born October 26, 1894
Bluefield, West Virginia
Died June 16, 1981(1981-06-16) (aged 86)
Akron, Ohio
Cause of death
Heart attack
Residence Akron, Ohio
Education Cornell University
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

John Shively Knight (October 26, 1894 – June 16, 1981) was an American newspaper publisher and editor based in Akron, Ohio.

Early life and education[edit]

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."

Career[edit]

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.

During the latter part of World War II, Knight took a leave from the newspaper business, serving as Director of the U.S. Office of Censorship, in London.[1]

By 1973, his portfolio included fifteen newspapers. A year later, 1974, he merged his company with Ridder Publications to form Knight-Ridder Newspapers Inc.

He co-founded what would become the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation with his brother James L. Knight.

Honors and awards[edit]

Family, retirement, end of life[edit]

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. [2] Youngest son Frank McLain Knight died at age thirty on March 9, 1958 following emergency brain surgery. [3]

In retirement, John Knight devoted much of his time to the raising of Thoroughbred race horses at his Fourth Estate Stable based in Miami.

Knight died of a heart attack in Akron.

Dedications[edit]

  • 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.

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]