Nike Founder Just Does Lit

Billionaire sneaker magnate haunts Stanford creative writing classes
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Dec 3, 2007 2:37 PM CST
Nike chairman Phil Knight is shown in this file photo taken July 12, 2007, in Sun Valley, Idaho. On Monday, Aug. 20, 2007, it was announced that Knight and his wife, Penny, pledged $100 million to...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Phil Knight had a seat at the front of the Nike boardroom for decades, but he sits in the back when he takes creative writing classes at Stanford. The 69-year-old alumnus is indulging his longstanding fascination with the written word by talking Hemingway with undergrads, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Tobias Wolff set Knight on this path by suggesting he "start somewhere at his level of ability," says the novelist and professor. Around campus, Knight is known as the old guy in white Nikes who treats classmates to beers. "He didn't want to be CEO," said one author who visited class. "He wanted to be Phil Knight, the student."