Editors note: My Dad passed away this week. He had been sick for a long time and was , quite frankly, bored with it all. He had spent his entire life as a husband, father, and news photographer of the highest caliber doing what he loved with those who he loved. I, like most human beings, would not be the person I am without my father’s love, guidance, inspiration, and influence. That’s a lot of blame to put on someone but he was pretty cool and my hero so he would be up to it. He was as honest as the pictures he took and his love and respect for the outdoors is why I’m a naturalist and scientist today . He was a hunter, fisherman, and objective witness to the changes in the ecology of California and I was there to learn from that. It was good stuff. I will miss him surely but he will always be there when I’m in the field, under the water, or being a father. I will definitely see him out there.
William B. Knight 1931-2019
On January 17th, Bill Knight rolled up on scene to cover his biggest story to date. After over 50 years of documenting the news that is Los Angeles, Photographer Knight took the call from the Heaven’s Assignment Desk to finally accept the ultimate network gig. Born in Los Angeles on September 3, 1931 to Bert and Viola Knight, Bill grew up as the quintessential Angeleno, graduating from Dorsey High with only one goal in mind, to be a press photographer in Los Angeles. His first decade was spent as both an outdoor and general assignment photographer for the Daily Mirror, the afternoon edition of the Los Angeles Times groups. He then graduated to television news, and after a freelance stint at KCOP, found a permanent home as a news cameraman at KTLA. Over the next 35 years, Bill’s career was a mirror of the history of Los Angeles. From the assassination of Robert Kennedy at the Ambassador Hotel to the Rodney King Riots and more, he was there. A vigilant witness for the people to the happenings of his city, he often said that the camera was the only honest observer, never lying and always optimistic. He was proud of both his work and his colleagues. His association with the Press Photographer Association of Greater Los Angeles (PPAGLA.org) was profound, serving as President three times while spending over 60 years supporting efforts of news photographers in Los Angeles. He was the consummate and concerned professional.
He was also the exemplary husband and father. Married since 1965 to his partner and soul mate Elizabeth, he raised 2 children, Kathyrne and Christopher. Bill had a love of the outdoors and of nature that he shared through both his work and in his private life. In his retirement, his great joy and partner in all things silly was his 6 year-old granddaughter Lily, the perfect foil for an 80-something who never stopped being a kid at heart. In addition to his other grandchildren Sean and Maegan, Bill is also survived by daughter-in-law Susan and son-in-law Don.
Internment will be private as per Bill’s wishes. In lieu of flowers, donations can be directed care of the William Knight Endowment Fund at the Press Photographers Association of Greater Los Angeles.