Phil Knight Net Worth

Last Updated on January 15, 2024 by Ben

Nike Inc. founder Phil Knight has an impressive net worth that has grown over many years. A self-made billionaire with a distinctive attitude to life and business, Knight. His success and wealth have been incredibly motivating examples for many who want to start their businesses.

Knight is a prime example of what can be accomplished by sheer willpower and perseverance, having gone from modest origins to become one of the world’s most admired businessmen. He is one of the wealthiest men in the world because he continues to invest in new businesses while utilizing wise financial strategies to protect his holdings.

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What is Phil Knight’s Net Worth?

One of the wealthiest persons in America, Phil Knight, has a net worth of $40 billion. The self-made billionaire is well-known for founding Nike Inc. and being its largest individual shareholder. Many ambitious business owners have found inspiration in his accomplishment.

Knight rose from modest beginnings to become one of the most successful businessmen in the world via perseverance and hard work. He makes prudent financial decisions to protect his assets while investing in new businesses.

Early Life

Phil Hampson Knight, born on February 24th, 1938, in Portland, Oregon, was raised in the Eastmoreland district and went to Cleveland High School. At the University of Oregon, where he later pursued his higher education, he joined the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and worked as a sports reporter for the Oregon Daily Emerald.

He was also a middle-distance runner and dedicated to his studies. In the years following his 1959 college graduation with a journalism degree, Knight made significant progress in realizing his long-term objectives.


Following his graduation from the University of Oregon, Knight served in the American Army for one year on active service and then for seven years in the Army Reserve. In 1962, he received his master’s in business administration after enrolling at the Standard Graduate School of Business.

He first came across Tiger brand running shoes made by Onitsuka Co. when visiting Kobe, Japan, for his graduation. He was immediately impressed by their value and quality. Knight got to speak with Mr. Onitsuka and gained the western United States distribution rights for Tiger sneakers.

Knight began working as a Certified Public Accountant with Coopers & Lybrand and Price Waterhouse while waiting for the first shipment of Tiger samples to arrive in Portland, a process that took over a year. He also began teaching accounting at Portland State University.

Fortunately, Bill Bowerman, a former track coach at the University of Oregon, received some Tiger running shoes after they arrived. Along with ordering the shoes, Bowerman invited Knight to join his company as a partner. Thus, Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS), the corporation later known as Nike, was established on January 25th, 1964.

Knight bought the Tiger shoes and began selling them from his green Plymouth Valiant. By 1969, he had earned enough money to leave his job as an accountant and devote himself entirely to Blue Ribbon Sports. Nike, first named after the Greek goddess of triumph, acquired its recognizable “swoosh” emblem in 1971 from graphic design student Carolyn Davidson.

She was paid $35 and eventually received an undisclosed sum in Nike shares. Over the following four decades, Knight transformed Nike from a shoe business into one of the most recognizable companies in the world.

He left his position as CEO in November 2004 but continued to serve as board chairman until June 2015. At the end of June 2016, he formally retired from the company’s board.

In addition to his work at Nike, Knight contributed significantly to the success of the animation studio Laika. He acquired 15% ownership in the rapidly expanding animation studio Will Vinton Studios in 1998, and his son Travis joined as an animator.

In the end, Knight acquired the business, renaming it Laika in 2003. The stop-motion animated picture “Coraline” (2009) was their debut feature; Travis was then elevated to CEO and president of Laika.

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Other Work and Philanthropy

The memoir “Shoe Dog” by Knight was released by Simon & Schuster in April 2016. He has given more than $1 billion to charity, including $500 million to the University of Oregon Health & Science cancer center, $400 million to Stanford University to launch the Knight-Hennessy Scholars graduate-level education program, which the Rhodes Scholarship inspired, and $105 million to the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Personal Life

Penelope “Penny” Parks and Phil Knight were married in 1963; their three grown children are Matthew, Travis, and Christina. He was working at Portland State University when they first got together. Matthew tragically passed suddenly in 2004 while scuba diving in El Salvador from an undiscovered congenital heart condition.

Now residing in Beaverton, Oregon, Phil and Penny have supported the University of Oregon athletic fund for many years.

The university has given them numerous honors; the library is even named in honor of his mother, the law school bears his father’s name, and the Matthew Knight Arena was dedicated to their late son in 2011. Phil was honored by the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame for his services to sports.

Net Worth Details

Through a holding company called “Swoosh” with its headquarters in Delaware, Phil Knight owns 24 percent of Nike, the world’s most oversized athletic shoe and sportswear manufacturer. Although Travis owns 10% of Swoosh, Phil is still credited for the remainder. Nike is also the owner of the Converse and Jordan labels.

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Pros and Cons of Phil Knight’s Net Worth


  • Phil Knight is one of the wealthiest people in the world, with a net worth estimated at $29 billion.
  • Phil Knight is already a legendary businessman thanks to the success of Nike, and the athletic apparel sector is no exception to his influence.
  • Phil Knight has built initiatives encouraging athletes and advancing education thanks to his financial success. He has also made significant charitable donations.


  • Although Phil Knight has amassed impressive wealth, he also had to invest significantly in Nike’s early years, which may have resulted in significant losses if Nike’s performance could have been better paced.
  • Although Nike is a well-known brand due to its marketing methods, its rivals are fierce and constantly expanding due to their aggressive efforts in the market sector.

Final Thought – Phil Knight Net Worth

The achievement of Phil Knight serves as an illustration of how tenacity and grit may result in a sizable wealth. His life’s journey speaks volumes about his drive and the importance of having great dreams, and it serves as an example for many people who aspire to leave an impact on the world.

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