Springfield, Missouri native Richard Flavel Knight began his newspaper career as a 9-yr. old street corner news hawk in Kilgore, Texas. When his family moved to Tennessee and Oak Ridge for jobs connected to the World War II-era Manhattan Project, he worked briefly for Roane-Anderson County government, and then completed four years U.S. Navy service 1944-1948.
Upon his Navy discharge, he attended the Southern School of Printing in Nashville, and in 1949 began work as production manager at the Cannon Courier in Woodbury. Three years later he moved to the production department of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal, and later worked as an ad compositor for the Newspaper Printing Corporation of the Nashville Banner and Tennessean newspapers.
On August 31, 1959 he moved to Overton County and purchased part ownership in the Livingston Enterprise where he was editor and co-publisher. In 1964, he also became publisher and co-owner of the Jackson County Sentinel in neighboring Gainesboro, and continued to own and operate both newspapers until his retirement in 2000.
Richard Knight was Tennessee Press Association president in 1981-1982, and a member of its board of directors 1973-1982. He was president of the Tennessee Press Service 1976-1981, a 19-year member of the Tennessee Press Service board of directors, and a Tennessee Press Association Foundation Trustee 1991-2003.
In 1977 he received the Heath Cooper Rigdon Conservation Writer Award of the Tennessee Soil Conservation District, and in November 1983 the Middle Tennessee Conservation Award for his reporting on soil and water conservation practices.
He was past president of the Livingston Rotary Club, and former adjutant of the Woodbury American Legion Post. Knight served as a member of the Livingston planning commission and board of zoning appeals for nearly 40 years, and led efforts to create Overton County’s first industrial park.
In his career as Livingston Enterprise editor and publisher, Knight was a frequent winner of first place awards in his newspaper’s competition category of the UT-TPA Press Contests. His newspaper won the 1981 and 1985 first place award in the Best Single Advertisement category, the 1989 Best Advertising Campaign award, the 1987 Best Single Editorial award category, and the 1987 Public Service category award.
And his newspaper won two School Bell Awards granted by the Tennessee Education Association for his reporting and writing on Overton County public education issues.
Through his regular Page One “Knight Line” editorial commentaries, Richard Knight successfully campaigned for constructing Overton County’s first nursing home, extending natural gas service to Livingston-area homes, municipal garbage collection service, and rebuilding the county jail to effectively incarcerate criminals.
In his four decade Tennessee newspaper career, Richard F. Knight demonstrated his commitment to producing his Livingston Enterprise newspaper consistent with its motto, “Just Like A Letter From Home.”