Phil Knight is a name that needs no introduction. As the co-founder and former CEO of Nike, he has become synonymous with both success and wealth. Yet, despite his immense success, there is still much debate around just how much Knight is worth. Estimates vary widely, with some sources suggesting he's worth a few billion dollars. Others claim his net worth is well into the tens of billions.

To put this into perspective, Knight's wealth rivals that of some of the richest people in history, including John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie. But what is it that made Knight so successful? And what were the key factors that contributed to his immense wealth?

In this article, we'll take a closer look at Knight's incredible journey, from his early days as an athlete to his rise to the top of the sportswear industry. We'll explore the key decisions he made along the way and the impact they had on Nike and the world of sports.

Whether you're a business owner looking to learn from Knight's success or simply curious about the life of one of the most influential figures in modern history, this article has something for you. 

So, if you're ready to learn from one of the greats, read on to discover the fascinating life and legacy of Phil Knight.

Also, read through to find out how we can coach you to grow YOUR net worth, absolutely FREE.

Phil Knight's Net Worth$40 million (est.)
Born (Date of Birth)Feb 24, 1938 
Age85 years old
Place of BirthPortland, United States of America
Sources of wealthEntrepreneur, Businessperson
Height5 ft 9 in(1.75 m)

How Much is Phil Knight Worth?

Phil Knight’s net worth is estimated to be around a staggering $40 billion. Phil has made a major chunk of this wealth from his super-successful sportswear brand, Nike.

Who is Phil Knight?

Phil Knight, a name synonymous with athletic excellence and entrepreneurial prowess, is the co-founder and former CEO of Nike, Inc.. Nike is one of the world's most recognizable and successful sportswear and footwear brands.

Born on February 24, 1938, in Portland, Oregon, Knight grew up with an affinity for sports. He excelled as a middle-distance runner at Cleveland High School and continued to pursue his passion at the University of Oregon. There he ran under the legendary track coach, Bill Bowerman. After obtaining a bachelor's degree in journalism, Knight ventured overseas and earned his MBA from the prestigious Stanford Graduate School of Business.

It was during his time at Stanford that Knight developed the idea for a new kind of athletic shoe. He dreamed of one designed to give runners an edge in their performance. In 1964, he teamed up with his former coach, Bill Bowerman, and created Blue Ribbon Sports. Initially serving as a distributor for Japanese-made running shoes, the company eventually evolved into Nike, Inc. In 1971, Nike adopted the iconic swoosh logo that would soon become a global phenomenon.

How Nike Grew

Under Knight's visionary leadership, Nike grew from a small startup to a worldwide sports behemoth. Since then, it's dominated the market and shaping athletic culture. He stepped down as CEO in 2006 and later as chairman in 2016. But Knight remains actively involved with the company he co-founded. His impressive net worth of $40 billion stands as a testament to his relentless drive and unwavering dedication to the world of sports and business.

On top of his accomplishments in the corporate world, Phil Knight is a philanthropist. He's donated millions of dollars to various educational and healthcare institutions. His inspiring story was chronicled in his memoir Shoe Dog. It serves as a shining example of how determination, innovation, and passion can create a lasting impact on the world.

What Investments does Phil Knight Make?

As one of the world's wealthiest individuals, it's no surprise that Phil Knight's investment portfolio is as diverse and dynamic as he is. Let's delve into the various types of investments that have contributed to Knight's financial success. And let's explore the strategies that have kept him ahead of the game. So, let’s get to it right away.

1. Companies

His most significant investment remains Nike, the sportswear giant that he co-founded. But Knight's portfolio extends beyond the realm of athletics.

His investments include stakes in animation studios, technology firms, and other consumer-focused businesses. By leveraging his wealth and business acumen, Knight has consistently identified and invested in companies with strong growth potential. This has further solidified his status as an astute entrepreneur.

2. Art

The details of his personal art collection remain largely private. But we can glean some insights into his investment in art based on available information.

One notable example of Knight's foray into the art world is his support of the Portland Art Museum. In 2018, he and his wife, Penny, donated $50 million to the museum's capital campaign. Their generous contribution is aimed at funding a new 30,000-square-foot pavilion. It will showcase contemporary art and providing support for the museum's educational initiatives.

3. Real Estate

As one of the world's wealthiest individuals, Knight's real estate investments reflect a keen understanding of the market. They also show his strategic approach to building and diversifying his wealth.

Some notable examples of Knight's real estate investments include:

  • Luxurious residential properties: Knight owns a stunning, 8,000-square-foot La Quinta, California mansion, which he purchased in 1996. This luxurious desert getaway is situated within the exclusive Madison Club. It's an upscale golf and residential community frequented by celebrities and business moguls alike.
  • Commercial properties: Besides residential holdings, Knight also has investments in commercial real estate. In 2016, he acquired a significant stake in Vesta Corporation. It's a company specializing in acquiring, developing, and managing commercial properties across the United States.
  • Land: In 2004, Knight purchased 2,100 acres of land in central Oregon, near Sisters. This vast expanse of land is aptly named "Rangoon." It serves as both a personal retreat for Knight and a testament to his long-term vision for land investments.

4. Art Collection

While not exclusively focused on art, the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact at the University of Oregon highlights the couple's dedication to fostering creativity and innovation. This interdisciplinary campus bridges the gap between science and art. It emphasizes the importance of collaboration between different fields to drive progress and discovery.

The details of Phil Knight's personal art collection remain elusive. But his support for the arts is evident in the way he invests in institutions and initiatives that promote artistic appreciation and education. Knight's contributions to the art world reflect his belief in the power of creativity and its essential role in enriching society.

5. Philanthropy 

Phil Knight, along with his wife Penny, demonstrated their dedication to social progress by pledging a staggering $400 million to the Rebuild Albina project in Portland, Oregon. This remarkable contribution aims to uplift and empower the city's Black community, fostering a brighter future for generations to come.

The Rebuild Albina project is the inaugural venture of the newly-established 1803 Fund. It's a private investing and philanthropy initiative designed to help Black residents thrive and foster flourishing communities. With a focus on promoting equity, the 1803 Fund seeks to create long-lasting change through strategic investments in various areas. The goal is to impact the well-being and success of marginalized communities.

6. Sports Team

Back in 2021, Phil Knight, and Alan Smolinisky, a business magnate and co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, had reportedly made a proposal to acquire the Portland Trail Blazers. The bid from Knight and Smolinisky to purchase the NBA team had been valued at over $2 billion. This shows that Phil is greatly influenced by his love of sports and still tries to make the most of his investments through this domain.


1. How much is Phil Knight's net worth?

Phil Knight is worth around $40 billion. A major chunk of this money comes to him from his global brand, Nike which he co-founded alongside Bill Bowerman.

2. What investments has Phil Knight made?

Phil Knight, the brilliant mind behind Nike, has certainly been busy outside the world of sneakers. Specific details about his investments might be as elusive as a limited-edition pair of Air Jordans. But it's safe to say he's likely invested in various sectors, such as companies, real estate, and even philanthropic endeavors. One notable example is his $400 million pledge to the Rebuild Albina project in Portland. It's aimed at empowering the Black community. So, while we might not have the full scoop, we know Phil's investment game is as strong as his shoe game!

3. What is the history of the Nike brand?

Nike's origin story is one of humble beginnings and bold dreams. Founded by Phil Knight and his former track coach Bill Bowerman in 1964, the company initially operated under the name Blue Ribbon Sports. In 1971, they changed the name to Nike, inspired by the Greek goddess of victory. Starting as a small distributor for Japanese running shoes, Nike soon soared to become a global athletic powerhouse. That's thanks to innovative designs, clever marketing, and a certain swoosh logo that's now synonymous with sports and style.

4. How did Phil Knight use his business acumen to build the Nike empire?

Phil Knight's journey to build the Nike empire was a blend of innovation, grit, and business savvy. With a master's degree from Stanford under his belt, Phil had a keen understanding of the market and consumer needs. He leveraged his knowledge to identify a niche for high-quality running shoes, imported from Japan. As the brand evolved, Phil's vision, combined with Bill Bowerman's design expertise, led to groundbreaking products like the Nike Cortez and the Waffle Trainer. Phil's genius also shone in marketing, embracing athlete endorsements and crafting ad campaigns that resonated with the masses. In short, it was Phil's business acumen, perseverance, and ability to think outside the shoebox that helped Nike sprint to the top.

5. What donations has Phil Knight made?

Phil Knight is not just a titan of the athletic world; he's also a generous philanthropist. He has made significant donations to a variety of causes, notably in education, healthcare, and community empowerment. For instance, Phil and his wife Penny have contributed millions to Oregon Health & Science University, Stanford University, and the University of Oregon. One standout donation is the $400 million pledge to the Rebuild Albina project in Portland. It aims to uplift the Black community. So, while Phil has undoubtedly made a fortune, he's also given back to make the world a better place. Talk about a slam dunk.

6. Who owns Nike and how much of it does Phil Knight own?

The Knight family holds significant ownership in Nike, the athletic wear giant. Travis A. Knight, Phil Knight's son, is the top individual shareholder with a 7% stake in Class A stocks and a 2.7% stake in Class B stocks. The family also maintains tight control over the company through various Trusts and an LLC named Swoosh (after Nike's iconic logo). By combining individual shares, Swoosh LLC, and Travis Knight's irrevocable trust, the Knight family exercises control over an impressive 97.1% of Class A and 21.4% of Class B stocks. So, it's safe to say that the Knights still reign supreme in the Nike kingdom.

7. What is Phil Knight's background?

Phil Knight, the mastermind behind Nike, has a background that perfectly paved the way for his entrepreneurial success. Born in Portland, Oregon in 1938, Phil's affinity for sports led him to become a middle-distance runner at the University of Oregon. After earning his bachelor's degree in journalism, he enlisted in the Army Reserve and later completed his MBA at Stanford University. It was during his time at Stanford that Phil was inspired to create a business importing high-quality, low-cost athletic shoes from Japan. With a blend of sports passion, journalism know-how, and business acumen, Phil Knight was well-equipped to make the leap from running tracks to running a global empire.

8. How did Phil Knight become successful?

Phil Knight's road to success was paved with determination, innovation, and a knack for spotting opportunities. After completing his MBA at Stanford, Phil recognized a gap in the market for affordable, high-quality athletic shoes. This led to the founding of Blue Ribbon Sports with his former track coach, Bill Bowerman, which eventually evolved into Nike.

Phil's success can be attributed to a combination of factors. He was unafraid to take risks, such as importing shoes from Japan and later shifting to manufacturing in-house. He was also quick to embrace the power of marketing and athlete endorsements. That helped catapult Nike into the global spotlight. Add to that his strong business acumen, visionary leadership, and an unwavering commitment to product innovation. It's clear why Phil Knight emerged as a winner in the world of sports and business.

9. What is Phil Knight's philanthropic work?

Phil Knight is known for his philanthropic efforts and charitable donations. He has made significant contributions through the Phil and Penny Knight Foundation. It focuses on supporting organizations and initiatives in the areas of climate change, education, and research. He has also made personal donations to various charitable causes and organizations, including cancer research.

10. What companies has Phil Knight been involved in?

Phil Knight is best known for his involvement with Nike, Inc., which he co-founded in 1964. Originally called Blue Ribbon Sports, the company was renamed to Nike, Inc. in 1971. It has since become one of the largest and most successful athletic footwear and apparel companies in the world.

On top of his involvement with Nike, Phil Knight has also been involved in several other companies and ventures. He is a co-founder of Laika, an animation studio that produces feature films, television shows, and commercials. He is also a co-founder of the investment firm Track & Field, Inc. It invests in a variety of businesses and industries.

Phil Knight has also made investments in a number of technology companies and startups, including Apple Inc. and Intel Corporation. He has also been involved in a number of philanthropic and non-profit organizations. Chief among them are the Phil and Penny Knight Foundation and the Oregon Health & Science University Knight Cancer Institute.


Phil Knight's success comes from his determination and astute business decisions. His exceptional understanding of the business world and risk management allowed him to forecast economic trends and make informed decisions.

If Phil Knight's achievements motivate you to aim higher and create lasting wealth while also making a positive impact on the world, you have come to the right place.

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