Knox, Frank (William Franklin)
(1874-1944)
   Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Frank Knox attended Alma College in Michigan from 1893 until 1898, when he joined Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Riders in the Spanish-American War. After working as a reporter in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Knox established his own newspaper in 1902, which he sold in 1912 and took over the Manchester Leader in New Hampshire. During World War I, he served in the military and then resumed his newspaper career. In 1927, William Randolph Hearst hired him to run his newspapers in Boston, and the following year Knox became general manager of Hearst’s newspapers. He left in 1930 to become the successful publisher/part owner of the Chicago Daily News.
   As a Republican, albeit a progressive who had supported Theodore Roosevelt, Knox was a critic of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal. In 1936, he ran as Alf Landon’s vice presidential partner on the losing ticket. Knox was, however, in favor of supporting Great Britain after 1939, and in 1940 Roosevelt appointed him secretary of the navy. In that role he oversaw the wartime expansion of the force. He provided leadership after the disaster of Pearl Harbor and replaced Admiral Husband Kimmel with Chester W. Nimitz. Knox died following a series of heart attacks in 1944.

Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . . 2015.

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