Bachelor of Science, University Tennessee, 1956. Master of Arts, Memphis State University, 1963.
His father, a former college basketball player at University of Tennessee-Martin, taught McKnight the game at a young age. He continued playing throughout high school and college, first for Memphis State University before transferring to Utah-Martin, where McKnight broke his father"s scoring record. After graduation, McKnight taught at South Side High School in Jackson for two years.
He was then hired by Martin-Marietta Ammunition of Milan and served as the company"s production superintendent for sixteen years.
McKnight served as Madison County commissioner for eight years prior to winning the 1986 state senate election. He defeated Bobby Carter in the tight 1990 election, but lost to Carter four years later.
McKnight married Sandra Maddox in 1960.
Member Madison County Court, Jackson, 1966-1978, Madison County Commission, Jackson, 1978-1982. Past board directors Farm Bureau, Jackson. Member National Conference State Legislatures, Madison County Junior Chamber of Commerce (charter president), Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Elks.
Married Sandra Maddox. Children: Buddy, Meg, Joe.