Northrup R. Knox

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Northrup R. Knox
Owner of the Buffalo Sabres
In office
Serving with Seymour H. Knox III, Robert O. Swados, & George W. Strawbridge, Jr.
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by John Rigas
7th Chairman of the
United States Polo Association
In office
Preceded by George C. Sherman, Jr.
Succeeded by William T. Ylvisaker
Personal details
Born (1928-12-24)December 24, 1928
Buffalo, New York
Died July 23, 1998(1998-07-23) (aged 69)
East Aurora, New York
Spouse(s) Lucetta
Children Linda Knox McLean, and Northrup R. Knox, Jr.
Parents Seymour H. Knox II
Helen Northrup
Education St. Paul's School
Alma mater Yale University
Occupation Sports Executive, Athlete

Northrup Rand Knox (December 24, 1928 – July 23, 1998), was a Buffalo banker, sportsman, and community leader who, along with his brother Seymour, brought the National Hockey League franchise the Buffalo Sabres to Buffalo, New York. Knox is the third generation of the Knox family to serve as chairman of Marine Midland Bank and its predecessors. His father Seymour H. Knox II and grandfather Seymour H. Knox I also served as chairmen. He was also a past chairman of the Buffalo Sabres. He was chairman and governor of the United States Polo Association.


He was born on December 24, 1928 in Buffalo, New York. He was the son of Seymour H. Knox II and Helen Northrup.[1] Together, his parents had two children:

Knox attended the Aiken Preparatory School in Aiken, South Carolina and St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire. He was a 1950 graduate of Yale University. At Yale, Norty starred in squash and won two Y's as a hockey goaltender. He was also a member of the Scroll and Key society.[2]

The only amateur polo player in the postwar era to reach an eight-goal rating, he captained the US team in the challenge for the Cup of the Americas in 1966 and 1969 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, distinguishing himself as one of America's finest offensive players.[3][4] With his legendary group of mares, known as the "4 Rs" (Ragamuffin, Rotallen, Ravanelle and Roulette), Norty was generally recognized as the best mounted player in the US at that time. After playing those ponies in the 1969 Cup of the Americas he was also considered the best mounted player in Argentina as well. He was inducted into the Polo Hall of Fame in 1994.[5]

A protégé of the Basque master Pierre Etchebaster, Knox was a formidable opponent on the court tennis court. He became World Champion when he defeated Albert "Jack" Johnson at the Racquet and Tennis Club in New York in 1959.[6] He held the title until 1969, when he retired, undefeated.

Buffalo Sabres[edit]

With his brother Seymour H. Knox III, he presented an application October 19, 1965 to obtain a National Hockey League expansion team in 1967, but was rebuffed. In 1968, the NHL Board of Governors rejected their agreement to move the Oakland Seals to Buffalo pending league approval. Finally, on December 2, 1969 the league announced its decision to expand to Buffalo and Vancouver for the 1970-71 season. Knox was a principal owner of the Buffalo Sabres from their foundation as a National Hockey League franchise in 1970 until a few months before his death.[7]

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 20,000 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.


In 1950, Knox was married to Lucetta Gilbert Crisp,[8] whom he met while wintering in Aiken, South Carolina.[9] She was the daughter of Van Devanter Crisp and Martha Crisp (née Ottley), of 33 East 77th Street in New York City, and the granddaughter of James H. Ottley of New York City and Glen Cove, Long Island.[2] was educated at the Garrison Forest School in Owings Mills, Maryland and Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. Together, they had two children:

He died on July 23, 1998 in East Aurora, New York.[13] Northrup's wife Lucetta died on October 12, 2008 after a long illness.[14]


The Knox brothers, who brought major league hockey to Buffalo, were inducted into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame in 1992 and into the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame in 1996. Northrup Knox was survived by his daughter, Linda Knox McLean, a son, Northrup R Knox Jr and five grandchildren, Richard, Lisa, and Arthur Schmon, Charles Rigby Knox and Northrup Knox III.

See also[edit]


  2. ^ a b "NUPTIALS ARE HELD FOR LUCETTA CRISP; She Is Wed in Locust Valley to Northrup R. Knox, Graduate of Yale, Class of '50". The New York Times. June 22, 1950. Retrieved April 13, 2016. 
  3. ^ Yates, Brock (January 20, 1969). "Warts, Love And Dreams In Buffalo". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved September 24, 2008. 
  4. ^ Chuck LaChiusa. "Norty Knox (left) scoring against Argentina in 1966. He was captain of the United States polo team in 1966 and 1969, competing for the Cup of he Americas in Buenos Aires.". Retrieved November 5, 2008. 
  5. ^ Smith, Nancy Bruen. "Northrup R. Knox Remembered By His Daughter Linda". Equestrian Calendar of Aiken. Retrieved April 13, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Off a Monastery Wall". Time. Time Inc. February 23, 1959. Retrieved November 5, 2008. 
  7. ^ "Seymour Knox 3d, 70, N.H.L. Team Owner". The New York Times. May 23, 1996. Retrieved April 13, 2016. 
  8. ^ a b "Mrs. Northrup Knox Has Child". The New York Times. December 7, 1951. Retrieved April 13, 2016. 
  9. ^ Ross, Donna (September 26, 2008). "The East Aurora Hunt: Gone But Not Forgotten". The Chronicle of the Horse. Retrieved April 13, 2016. 
  10. ^ "WEDDING: Kolotouros – Schmon". Aiken Standard. September 8, 2013. Retrieved April 13, 2016. 
  11. ^ "ROBERT M. SCHMON". The New York Times. April 6, 1985. Retrieved April 13, 2016. 
  12. ^ "WEDDINGS; Victoria A. Beers, Northrup Knox Jr.". The New York Times. June 28, 1992. Retrieved April 13, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Northrup R. Knox, 69, banker, sportsman, community leader". (August 27, 1998-vol30n1: Obituary). University at Buffalo Reporter. August 27, 1998. Retrieved April 13, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Lucetta Crisp Knox's Obituary". Buffalo News. The Buffalo News. October 16, 2008. Retrieved April 13, 2016. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Albert Johnson
Real Tennis World Champion
Succeeded by
G.W. Bostwick, Jr.