Seymour H. Knox III

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This is about the hockey-team owner. For similar names, see Seymour Knox.

Seymour Horace Knox III (March 9, 1926 – May 22, 1996) was a philanthropist and sports entrepreneur. He owned the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League from their foundation in 1970 to his death in 1996, and served as chairman of the team. He was the grandson of Seymour H. Knox I, the F.W. Woolworth Company co-founder, and son of art enthusiast Seymour H. Knox II.


Knox was born in 1926 in Buffalo, New York. Along with his brother Northrup R. Knox and attorney Robert O. Swados, he presented an application October 19, 1965 to obtain a National Hockey League expansion team in 1967. Knox's bid was not among the six chosen to take part in the 1967 NHL expansion. One year later, the NHL Board of Governors rejected a proposal from the Knox-Swados team to move the struggling Oakland Seals (one of the six expansion teams) to Buffalo. Finally, on December 2, 1969 the league announced its decision to add two additional teams for the 1970–71 season; the two teams were to be the Vancouver Canucks, who themselves had bid on entry in the previous expansion but were rejected, and the new Knox-Swados entry in Buffalo. It was Seymour's idea to name the team the Sabres. According to Seymour, a sabre is strong on both defense and offense, and is a weapon carried by a leader.[1]

By 1975, the Sabres were in the Stanley Cup Finals and Knox was named The Hockey News executive of the year. Knox served on the NHL's Board of Governors for 25 years and was a director of the US Hockey Hall of Fame. Knox was a principal owner of the Buffalo Sabres from their founding as a National Hockey League franchise in 1970 until his death in Buffalo in 1996. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1993, and was posthumously honoured with the Lester Patrick Trophy in 1997.[2]

Other Buffalo sports[edit]

The Knox Brothers were the impetus behind the establishment of the Buffalo Bandits of the Major Indoor Lacrosse League in 1991 and the Buffalo Blizzard of the National Professional Soccer League in 1992.

The brothers also brought their vision of a state of the art sports and entertainment complex originally named the Marine Midland Arena and now called the First Niagara Center to life. The 18,690 seat complex was completed in 1996 and is located at 1 Seymour H. Knox III Plaza on the waterfront in downtown Buffalo. It is the home of the Buffalo Sabres and the Buffalo Bandits as well as the former home of the Buffalo Blizzard and Buffalo Destroyers of the Arena Football League.

Education and vocation[edit]

As a Buffalo born and bred sportsman, he excelled at tennis, squash, and polo. He studied at Yale and Columbia before serving as a decorated Corporal in World War II in the United States Army Field Artillery. He was a Vice President at Dominick & Dominick Inc. [3]


As a philanthropist, Knox contributed to a vast array of Greater Buffalo charities and causes such as the Chamber of Commerce, United Way and Children's Foundation of Erie County. He had four children with his wife Jean: Seymour IV, Read, Avery and Helen, and several grandchildren. His eulogy remarks on the Congressional Record were made by Daniel P. Moynihan[1] in the U.S. Senate and John J. LaFalce[2] and Jack Quinn[3] in the House of Representatives.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Donovan, Michael Leo (1997). The Name Game: Football, Baseball, Hockey & Basketball How Your Favorite Sports Teams Were Named. Toronto: Warwick Publishing. ISBN 1-895629-74-8. 
  2. ^ Collins gem Hockey Facts and Stats 2009-10, p.426, Andrew Podnieks, Harper Collins Publishers Ltd, Toronto, Canada, ISBN 978-1-55468-621-6
  3. ^ Buffalo Sabres History "The Early Years" 2010

External links[edit]