Newspaper publisher John S. Knight Sr. (October 26, 1894-June 16, 1981) was born in Bluefield. His father, Charles Landon Knight, had come to southern West Virginia the previous year to practice law, but found legal work not to his liking. Instead, C. L. Knight developed a relationship with Hugh Ike Shott, founder of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. The elder Knight supplemented his income by writing feature stories for the Telegraph.
After leaving southern West Virginia, the elder Knight tried a couple of professions before moving to northeastern Ohio and buying the Akron Beacon Journal on October 12, 1903. After serving in World War I, John S. Knight Sr., became a reporter with the Beacon Journal and took over as editor when his father died September 26, 1933. He built the Knight-Ridder Newspapers chain, which had 3.2 million readers at the time of his death and owned some of the nation’s most powerful newspapers including the Miami Herald, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Detroit Free Press.
John S. Knight Sr. was a conservative Republican but was noted for his bitter opposition to the Vietnam War. Based in part on his long record of service and also for his columns expressing opposition to American involvement in Vietnam, he received the Pulitzer Prize on May 6, 1968.
This Article was written by William R. Archer
Last Revised on October 07, 2010