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MSS 2018-04

Robert H. Knight Collection


Small collection of memorabilia (1966-2010) with some correspondence and photographs.

.75 Linear Feet

Scope & Contents

This collection of miscellanous materials contains some correspondence, memorabilia, and photographs. It consists of 2 archival boxes (.75 linear feet), plus 3 oversized items.

Collection Description

    Biographical / Historical

    Robert H. Knight was born in New Haven, Connecticut, on 27 February 1919. He graduated from Yale University in 1940, where he joined the ROTC, and was commissioned in the U.S. Army Air Corps. After graduating, he reported for active military duty. Following the war, he attended the University of Virginia School of Law. As a student at UVA he served as the Editor-in-Chief of the <em>Law Review</em> and was admitted to the Order of the Coif. In 1947 he joined the Law School faculty, and taught for two years.

    In 1949, he joined Shearman & Sterling, the New York City law firm, becoming partner in 1956. In 1959, during the Eisenhower Administration, he moved to Washington, D.C., where he served as Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. In 1961, he served as General Counsel for the Department of the Treasury under C. Douglas Dillon. That same year, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy asked Mr. Knight to organize the release of Cubans captured in the Bay of Pigs invasion, by working with U.S. companies to donate baby food and drugs to exchange for the prisoners.

    Mr. Knight was indispensable in the global development of Sherman & Sterling. He was head of the firm from 1982 to 1985. He attracted foreign clients, traveled the world, “his vision of the international dimension of the practice of law made him the architect of the law firm that Shearman & Sterling is today.” (Robert H. Knight: A Reflection by Rogan Weerasinghe, see: Robert Knight Remembrance, MSS 2018-04, Box. 1).

    He was Deputy Chairman of the New York Federal Reserve Bank from 1976-1977, and Chairman from 1977-1983. He was member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and he served on the board of The Asia Foundation, counsel to United Technologies Corporation; director of the international board of Owens-Corning Fiberglass Corporation; director of I-Corps, National Leadership Bank, Mercator, Inc., Citizen Exchange Council; and a member of the Intelsat Arbitration Panel. He was a member of the board of directors of International Volunteer Services; British Steel Corporation, and the University of Virginia Law School Foundation. He was a member of the American Bar Association; Federal Bar Association, International Bar Association, Inter-American Bar Association, Association of Bar of City of New York, New York County Lawyers Association, International Law Association, Washington Institute Foreign Affairs, Pilgrims Club, Links Club, World Trade Center Club, River Club (New York City), Army and Navy Club, Metropolitan Club (Washington), Round Hill Club (Greenwich, Connecticut), Ocean Club (Ocean Ridge, Florida), and Farmington Club (Virginia). (

    In 1964, he became a member of the Board of Trustees of the Law School Foundation. In 1971, he became the President of the Law School Foundation, a position he held for 18 years. Under his mandate, the University of Virginia Law School endowment grew considerably, “the support provided by that endowment and by the example that he set is indispensable to the standing of the University of Virginia as a law school of the first rank.” (“Robert H. Knight ’47 A Reflection by Robert Scott,” see: Robert Knight Remembrance, MSS 2018-04, Box. 1).

    Mr. Knight died September 28, 2006.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    This collection of was donated to the University of Virginia School of Law Library in the summer of 2018 by Mr. Knight’s son, E. Whitney Knight.

fileLetters to RHK from Abraham D. Beame, Mayor of New City (May 12, 1975); President Jimmy Carter (October 6, 1977); George Bush, First International Bank, Houston, TX (February 13, 1978); Senator Bob Dole ( January 15, 1985).MSS 2018-04 Box 1
fileFederal Reserve System Recognition , 1982-12MSS 2018-04 Box 1
fileUVA Law School Foundation Board of Trustees Meeting of October 10, 1994. Package given to board members, 1994-11-04 - 1994-11-05MSS 2018-04 Box 1
file“The Campaign for Virginia.” [UVA] Executive Meeting and National Leadership Gifts Council Joint Meetings. Package given to members, 1994-11-04 - 1994-11-05MSS 2018-04 Box 1
fileLaw School Alumni Association Annual Meeting, 2003-05-03MSS 2018-04 Box 1
fileRobert H. Knight Remembrance: “So far, so good: remembering Robert Huntington Knight, February 27, 1919 – September 28, 2006.MSS 2018-04 Box 1
fileCondolence cards and letters upon Knight’s dead, 2006MSS 2018-04 Box 1
fileJames H. Giffen Court Transcript, Support Letters and Press. ” Letter to “Rosemary” from Mr. Giffen, 2010MSS 2018-04 Box 1
fileResolutions and Recognitions.MSS 2018-04 Box 1
fileAECA Luncheons, 1995MSS 2018-04 Box 2
file[Federal Reserve Bank of New York] ? Board, undated.MSS 2018-04 Box 2
file[Federal Reserve Bank of New York] ? Board, undated [ca. 1977-1983]MSS 2018-04 Box 2
fileFederal Reserve Bank of New York 75th Anniversary Dinner, 1989. Robert H. Knight with two unidentified persons.MSS 2018-04 Box 2
fileGroup of Young Men (copy) and photo of drawing with Knight with inscription: “UTC’s Knight for President, undated.MSS 2018-04 Box 2
fileRobert H. Knight at White House Meeting with President Jimmy Carter, April 10, 1977MSS 2018-04 Box 2
fileRobert H. Knight with President Bill Clinton, November 11, 1995.MSS 2018-04 Box 2
fileRobert H. Knight Photographic Portraits, undated.MSS 2018-04 Box 2
fileRobert H. Knight Portrait with photos of family behind the portrait, undated.MSS 2018-04 Box 2
fileRobert H. Knight with a group of young friends, undated.MSS 2018-04 Box 2
fileRobert and Mimi, May 1995MSS 2018-04 Box 2
fileLaw Class of 1947 in front of the Rotunda, [1997]MSS 2018-04 Box 2
fileLaw School Alumni Association Board of Directors, October 8, 1966MSS 2018-04 Box 2
fileNew York Society for International Affairs, Inc. Luncheon in Honor of José María Figueres, President of Costa Rica, September 28, 1994.MSS 2018-04 Box 2
fileTransCanada Pipelines Limited 1994 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, 1994MSS 2018-04 Box 2
itemTwo passports; Three pairs of gold cuff-links; Tuxedo buttons; Cousteau-Pechiney Turbosail – Turboivoile Commemorative Medallion produce by Howmet Turbine Corporation, May 13 – June 17, 1985; Medallion with two dogs, inscription reads: R. H. Knight, FN – MSS 2018-04 Box 2
fileTwo envelops with personal photographs, undated.MSS 2018-04 Box 2
itemUVA School of Law Lile Law Society Coasters (3 coasters)MSS 2018-04 Box 2
fileOversized MaterialsMSS 2018-04 Box 2