Philip H. Knight (born February 24, 1938 in Portland, Oregon) is an American billionaire and the co-founder and former CEO of Nike, Inc. Philip Knight was a track runner at the University of Oregon. It was during this time that his interest in running shoes developed, since Bowerman was continually developing new running shoes. In those days running shoes were low quality by today’s comparison, with many being made by tire companies and costing as little as $5. Knight, not being the best on the team, often found himself experimenting with Bowerman’s latest shoes. Right after graduation Knight enlisted in the Army for a year, and then enrolled at Stanford Graduate School of Business. It was here that Knight dreamed up Nike. In Frank Shallenberger’s small business class Knight discovered a love affair with something besides sports – he discovered he was an entrepreneur. Knight recalls in a Stanford Magazine article: « That class was an ‘aha!’ moment » … « First, Shallenberger defined the type of person who was an entrepreneur–and I realized he was talking to me. I remember after writing that paper, saying to myself: ‘This is really what I would like to do.’ » In this class Knight needed to create a business plan. His paper, « Can Japanese Sports Shoes Do to German Sports Shoes What Japanese Cameras Did to German Cameras? », essentially was the premise to his foray into selling running shoes. After getting a ‘real job’ as his father suggested, Knight decided to make a trip to Japan to refine his ideas, and help quench his high interest in all things Asian. It was here that he visited an Onitsuka plant, which was making Adidas running shoe knock-offs. So impressed with quality and low cost, he decided to cut a distribution deal in the U.S. with them before leaving. Knight’s first sales were made out of a now legendary green Plymouth Valiant at track meets across the Pacific Northwest. These early sales finally allowed Knight to break away from his accountant day job by 1971. It was actually Jeff Johnson, a friend of Knight’s who suggested the name Nike and luckily, Johnson’s opinion prevaled. Nike is named after the Greek winged goddess of victory. Nike’s logo, now considered one of the world’s most powerful logos with goodwill worth tens of millions on the balance sheet, was commissioned for a mere $35 from Carolyn Davidson. According to Nike’s website Knight stated « I don’t love it, but it will grow on me. » However, some time later in 1983 (Nike went public in 1980), Davidson was given an undisclosed amount of stock from Knight and Nike for contribution to the company.