Philip Hampson "Phil" Knight (born February 24, 1938) is an American business magnate. He is the co-founder and chairman of Nike, Inc., then resigned as the company's chief executive officer in 2004, while retaining the position of chairman of the board. By 2011, Knight's stake in Nike gave him an estimated net worth of US$13.1 billion, making him the 60th richest person in the world and the 22nd richest American.
A graduate of the University of Oregon and Stanford Graduate School of Business, he has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to the schools. In fact, Knight gave the largest donation in history at the time to Stanford's business school in 2006. A native Oregonian, he ran track under coach Bill Bowerman at the University of Oregon, with whom he would co-found Nike.
Phil Knight is the son of a lawyer and future newspaper publisher. He attended Cleveland High School in Portland (not Cleveland, Ohio), and then the University of Oregon in Eugene, where he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta ("FIJI") fraternity and earned a journalism degree in 1959. As a middle-distance runner at the school, his personal best was 4:10 mile, winning varsity letters for track in 1957, 1958, and 1959.
Knight's first sales were made out of a now legendary green Plymouth Valiant automobile at track meets across the Pacific Northwest. By 1969, these early sales allowed Knight to leave his accountant job and work full time for Blue Ribbon Sports.
Jeff Johnson, a friend of Knight, suggested calling the firm Nike, named after the Greek winged goddess of victory. Nike's logo, now considered one of the most powerful logos in the world more for its ubiquity than its aesthetic merits, was commissioned for a mere $35 from Carolyn Davidson in 1981. According to Nike's Web site, Knight stated: "I don't love it, but it will grow on me." When Nike went public in December 1980, Davidson was given an undisclosed amount of Nike stock for her contribution to the company's brand. On the Oprah TV program in April 2011, Knight claimed he gave her "a few hundred shares" when the company went public.
From : www.wikipedia.org