Phil Knight Biography & Net Worth
|Popular Name:||Phil Knight|
Philip Hampson Knight
|Birth Date:||February 24, 1938|
Portland, Oregon, United States
|Spouse(s):||Penelope “Penny” Knight|
|Net Worth:||$48.7 Billion|
|Last Updated:||December, 2020|
Phil Knight is an American billionaire businessman. He is the chairman emeritus and co-founder of Nike Inc. He was previously chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the company. As of July 23, 2020, he was ranked by Forbes magazine as the 26th richest person on the planet with an enormous wealth that runs into billions of dollars. Knight is also the owner of Laika, a stop motion film production. He is attended Stanford Graduate School of Business after graduating from the University of Oregon. During his time in the University, he ran track under coach Bill Bowerman with whom he would co-found the Nike Company. This billionaire is also a cheerful giver and philanthropist. He has donated millions of dollars to both his alma maters, and also to Oregon Health & Science University. To date, he has donated more than $2 billion to the three institutions. Read on for exclusive details on Phil Knight’s biography and the story of his journey to success and fame.
Phil Knight’s Early Life
Philip Hampson Knight was born on 24 February 1938 in Portland, Oregon to Lota Hatfield Knight and her husband, Bill Knight, a lawyer who became a newspaper publisher.
Phil grew up the neighborhood of Eastmoreland. He attended Cleveland High School in Portland, and registered at the University of Oregon (UO), in Eugene to continue his education. While studying here, he worked as a sport reporter for Oregon Daily Emerald. In 1959, he completed his studies and earned a journalism degree.
Knight was known to be a middle-distance runner at the University of Oregun. He won varsity letters for his performances in 1957, 1958 and 1959. In 1977, he combined with Bowerman and Geoff Hollister and they founded a running team called Athletics West.
Phil Knight’s Career
Immediately after his graduation from the University, Phil joined the United States army and served actively for a year and seven years in the army reserves. After serving in the army, he got an admission into a business school at Stanford. He worked with Price Waterhouse as a certified public accountant, and then with coopered & Lybrand. In January 1964, he ended starting up a company named the blue-ribbon with Bowerman, who provided design ideas. The company, initially named Blue-Ribbon Sports(BRS), was later renamed into Nike. His first sales were carried out by Plymouth Valiant automobiles, and these sales provided him with steady work at BRS. It was in the year 1978 that he decided to change the name of their company from BRS to Nike.
In 1998, Phil Knight bought a few percents of Vinton Studios shares. He later acquired the Will Vinton Studios and it was controlled by Nike. Later in 2003, Knight appointed his son, Travis Knight as member of board, and then Chief Executive Officer and President of the Vinton studios which was later renamed as “Laika”.
On November 18, 2004, Phil Knight resigned from the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Nike Company, months after the death of his son Matthew Knight. Though he maintained his post of Chairman of board, he was replaced by William Perez as the Chief Executive Officer of Nike, and later replaced by Mark Parker.
In June 2015, Phil Knight made an announcement to resign as the chairperson of Nike.
Awards & Achievements
Phil Knight has made a name for himself today due to his involvement in the founding of Nike, one of the leading manufacturers of sports apparels and fashion items in the world. In 2000, he was inducted into Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in recognition of his great contribution to sports. In 2011, he was awarded a Court of Honor Gala from National Basketball Association Coach Foundation.
Personal Life & Family
In September 1968, Philip Knight married Penelope “Penny” Parks. They had four children, including Matthew who died in a diving accident in 2004.
Knight is a known philanthropist and free giver. In 2006, he donated $105 million to the Stanford Graduate School of Business, which was at that time the biggest individual donation ever made to an American business school. Along with his wife, Knight pledged $100 million to the Oregon Health & Science University Cancer Institute in 2008, which was renamed “Oregon Health & Science University Knight Cancer Institute” in his honor. In 2012, he contributed $65,000 to the higher education Political Action Committee which aims to facilitate and boost in the autonomy of schools in Oregon University System.
Phil Knight Net Worth
Phil Knight made his wealth from his string of businesses, including the company Nike, which he co-founded. He has always been a sports fan and sponsor, which could also be one of the reasons he accomplished success in his business since he had also had a passion for sports.
As of this writing, Phil Knight net worth is $40 billion according to Forbes. Though he has stepped down from his position at Nike, he is still a multi-billionaire and will continue to earn salary and royalties from both companies Nike and Laika.