kids encyclopedia robot

John S. Knight facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
John Shively Knight
John S. Knight on Wall Street with newspaper.jpg
Born October 26, 1894
Died June 16, 1981(1981-06-16) (aged 86)
Resting place Rose Hill Burial Park, Fairlawn, Ohio, US
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
  • Katherine "Kitty" McLain (married 1921 – d. 1929)
  • Beryl Zoller Comstock (married 1932 – d. 1974)
  • Mary Elizabeth Augustus (m. 1976 – d. 1980)
  • John Shively, Jr. (KIA 1945)
  • Charles Landon II (1924–2000)
  • Frank McLain (d. 1958)
Parent(s) Charles Landon Knight
Clara Irene Shively
  • 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

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.

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.

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

Personal 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.

Knight died of a heart attack in Akron.


  • 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.
  • The John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford support journalists from around the world in exploring solutions to issues facing innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership in journalism, thanks to a $4 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in 1984.
kids search engine
John S. Knight Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.