Phil Knight’s net worth is about $34.7 billion.
Who is Phil Knight?
Phil Knight is well-known for his business insights and as the co-founder of Nike Incorporated, one of the world’s most popular shoe brands. This company was founded by him and his former track coach, Bill Bowerman. Phil Knight earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Portland and his MBA at Stanford University.
After finishing his first degree, he founded Nike and began by selling and marketing Japanese-made athletic shoes from his trunk.
Today, the company is worth billions of dollars, with Phil Knight donating more than $2 billion to various causes.
Phil Knight: Birth, Parents, Siblings & Education
On February 24, 1983, Phil Knight was born Phil Hampson Knight.
He is of American ancestry and was born in Portland, Oregon, to parents William and Lota Hatfield Knight.
His father was a lawyer who became a publisher, and he described him as heavy-handed but affectionate.
William pushed his son to amass his own fortune by denying him a job at his former newspaper company, Oregon Journal.
He graduated from Cleveland High School and went on to the University of Oregon and Stanford University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1959 and his master’s degree in business in 1962.
What is the net worth of Phil Knight?
The billionaire businessman makes a fortune from his massive shoe manufacturing company Nike and is extremely wealthy.
Forbes estimated his net worth to be $25.6 billion in 2016.
In 2017, he was estimated to be worth $26.6 billion, making him the 29th richest man in the world, and by 2018, Phil Knight was estimated to be worth $34.7 billion.
He is currently the world’s 28th wealthiest man.
Phil Knight: Professional Career
He was a middle-distance runner at the University of Oregon, where he was coached by the legendary Bill Bowerman, who later became his business partner.
Prior to Nike, he enlisted in the army and served for eight years, seven of which were spent in the army reserve.
When he became interested in studying track shoes, he founded Nike.
In the 1950s, he began researching how they were made and marketing them.
His curiosity prompted him to write an article titled Can Japanese Sports Shoes Do the Same as German Sports Shoes? What Happened To German Cameras Because Of Japanese Cameras?
His mention of German shoes was because, at the time, German shoes such as Addidas and others dominated the athletic shoe market in the United States.
He went on to discuss his ideas with his former coach, and they came to the conclusion that German track shoes were inferior, heavy, and unsuitable for athletes.
After identifying a problem, he devised solutions, and after graduating from Stanford, he embarked on a world tour that included a stop in Japan, where he contracted with a company to supply him with track shoes that were superior and more comfortable than what was available in US markets.
He met Onitsuka Corporation, and he was impressed not only by the superior quality of their products but also by their low price.
As soon as he returned to Portland, he began importing and distributing the shoes with his friend Bill Bowerman.
Their business thrived, giving birth to Blue Ribbon Sports in 1964, and they went on to open stores in Oregon, Eugene, and Santa Monica in the years that followed.
However, after having problems with their Japanese suppliers in 1971, Phil and Bill decided to start their own athlete shoe company, and thus Nike was born.
The name was inspired by a suggestion made by one of their employees, who suggested naming the company after the Greek goddess of victory.
The next step was to ramp up their marketing efforts, which led Phil to make acquaintances and form relationships with famous athletes who could help publicize his models.
Athletes like Steve Prefontaine, known for his long-distance race track records, wore this new shoe model, causing Nike to make a fortune as many others bought Phil’s product.
Phil released his first model, the Cortez, in 1972; it was an instant success, and by 1981, Nike had captured one-half of the athletic shoe market.
Phil, like most shoe companies, began offering endorsement deals to celebrities such as, and other well-known athletes.
In 1990, he expanded and began producing golf, soccer, and hockey apparel, a wise move that significantly increased the company’s income.
Knight was in the news for reasons other than his success when he was accused of underpaying his Asian employees.
Human rights groups pursued him, and his company was accused of sexual molestation and corporate assaults; despite this, the company remained one of the world’s largest shoemakers.
Phil Knight stepped down as Nike’s CEO in 2004 but remained the company’s Chairman.
Nike currently has 52 locations around the world and employs over 74,000 people.
Phil is also well-known for his charitable contributions, including a $105 million gift to Stanford Business School in 2006 and a $100 million gift to the OHSU Cancer Institute in 2008.
Phil Knight: Wife and children
Phil Knight has been married to Penelope Parks since 1968 and has no divorce records.
Travis, Christina, and Matthew Knight are their three children.
Travis works as an animator, while Matthew died in a scuba diving accident in 2004.
Christina Knight, his daughter, is unknown.