Phil Knight

Phil Knight


Phil Knight, who is an American Business Magnate, co-founder, and chairman of Nike Inc, born on 24 February 1938, In Portland, Oregon, U.S.

Family Background:

He is the son of William W. Knight, a Lawyer turned newspaper publisher and his wife Lota Hatfield Knight. He has two sisters, Joanne Knight, and Jeanne Knight.

Personal Life:

On September 13,  1968. He had got married Penelope “Penny” Parks. They had four children, One of whom, son died in driving accident in 2004.


He had attended the Cleveland High School in Portland. Phil had completed his graduation at the University of Oregon and Stanford Graduate School of Business. In 1962, He had completed his MBA.


In November 1962, He had visited Japan, where he discovered the tiger brand running shoes. Knight had been impressed by the high quality and low cost of the shoes. After returning from Japan, he had started work at Portland-based accounting firm company. He had collaborated his coach Bowerman for purpose of Partnership to distributed shoes in America. Bowerman agreed to Partnership by handshake on January 25, 1964, the birth date of ‘Blue Ribbon Sports’ The Blue Ribbon Sports had been renamed ‘Nike’ in 1971. As a former athlete, Knight had aspired to design products that the world’s top athletes had wanted to use. He had made acquaintances with Olympic track athletes. By 1980, The company profits grew manifold over the year, In the same year, Nike had captured a one half of the athletic shoe market. Later he had offered a deal to tennis superstar John McEnroe, and that had made one of his best marketing moves. In the 1990s, Nike had expanded its business branched out into Hockey, Golf, and soccer apparel. Nike had remained one of the world’s largest shoemakers. Phil Knight resigned as CEO of Nike in November 2004 and served as a chairman of the board. In June 2005, He announced that he steps down as a company’s chairman.

Unknown facts:

  • His middle name is Hampson.
  • He had started his career by selling shoes.
  • He did not like the “Nike” name in starting.

Master Stroke:

  • In 2006, He had donated the US $105 million to the Stanford GSB.
  • In 2008, along with his wife, he had pledged the US $100 million to the OHSU Cancer Institute


  • Phil’s contribution to the Athletic Department at UO had led him to controversy. In April 2000, Students had begun a sit-in at Johnson Hall, In the UO’s administrative center. In early April, an open meeting of students had also further demanded that the organization Fair Labor Association (FLA) would have been receiving no consideration from the university, as it had been  perceived as a group founded, funded and backed by Nike and other corporations, and was also criticized by worker rights advocates as an exercise in dishonest public relations.

Awards and Achievements:

  • In 2000, He received Oregon Sports Hall of Fame award.
  • In 2012, He received the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame award.

What can we learn from him??

Like Phil Knight, Build a bridge the gap between what is and what will be. Never afraid of a fight and understand your shortcomings.

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