Nike Co-Founder Phil Knight Aims To Donate Most Of $25B Fortune

Nike co-founder Phil Knight has earned a fortune at the helm of the sportswear giant, an estimated $25 billion — and he plans on donating a large portion of it to charity.

“By the time, you know, the lives of my children and their kids run out, I will have given most of it to charity,” Knight explained to “CBS Sunday Morning” in an interview that will air Sunday at 9 a.m.

The 78-year-old contributed $400 million in February to a new graduate program at Stanford University, his alma mater. It is the largest gift from an individual the university has ever received.

Knight received his MBA from Stanford in 1962 and founded Nike two years later.

Speaking to CBS about his new book, “Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike,” available Tuesday, Knight reflects on the running shoes that inspired him to found Nike, his relationship with Michael Jordan and his reaction to the controversy the brand faced in the 1990s for using overseas labor.

“I never thought we had bad factories, in fact, it was just the opposite, good factories,” he explains. “We tried to find the best factories you could work with, and good shoes come out of good factories. The fact that they could be better is what we should have concentrated on and what we ultimately did concentrate on.”

Last year, Nike announced that Knight will transfer ownership of the company, and his recommendation for his successor, Mark Parker, who has been Nike’s president and CEO since 2006.

 

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