Knox, John T. (John Theryll), 1924-

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Knox was a California assemblyman.

From the description of John T. Knox papers, 1970-1980. (University of California, Berkeley). WorldCat record id: 26631925


John T. Knox, Democrat, was a State Assembly Member, 1960-1980. His 11th District included cities within Contra Costa County.

Knox was born on September 30, 1924 in Reno, Nevada and established residence in California in 1929. He attended public schools in Sacramento and Alhambra before going on to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree from Occidental College, and a degree in Law from Hastings College of the Law. He was an attorney by profession. Assembly Member Knox served in the U.S. Army Air Force from March 1943 to December 1945. On December 27, 1949 he married Jean Henderson. They had three children: John, Charlotte Marie, and Mary Lucretia.

Assembly Member Knox served as President of the Richmond Junior Chamber of Commerce and was a member of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce. He was also been a member of the NAACP, as well as several fraternal and veterans associations. Assembly Member Knox served on the Contra Costa County Democratic Central Committee and on the Executive Board of the Democratic State Central Committee. In addition, he served on the Board of Trustees of Occidental College and the Sir Francis Drake Commission. In 1970, Assembly Member Knox was the recipient of the Bay Area Council Environmental Award. During his last year in the State Assembly he was awarded the League of California Cities Distinguished Service Award.

Assembly Member Knox was elected to the State Assembly of California during a special election on November 8, 1960. The special election was held in order to replace S.C. Masterson who resigned from the Assembly. On January 19, 1976, he was elected Speaker Pro Tempore and was re-elected each year until 1980 when he retired from office. During his term in the Legislature, Assembly Member Knox sponsored legislation concerning, the reorganization of local government, the environment, the Bay Area, and medical plans. According to the California Legislature at Sacramento (Handbooks), he severed on the following committees:

California State Assembly, 1960-1980

Standing Committees Constitutional Amendments, 1971-1972 Criminal Justice, 1975-1980 *Vice Chair, 1979-1980 Criminal Procedure, 1961-1967 Finance and Insurance, 1963-1974 Government Administration, 1971-1972 Governmental Efficiency and Economy, 1961-1965 *Vice Chair, 1961 Industrial Relations, 1961 Intergovernmental Relations, 1970 Judiciary, 1975 Local Government, 1969-1976, 1979-1980 *Chair, 1969-1975 Municipal and County Government, 1963-1967 *Chair, 1963-1967 Policy Research Management, 1979-1980 Revenue and Taxation, 1961-1963 Rules, 1977-1980 *Ex officio member, 1977-1980 Ways and Means, 1973-1974, 1976-1980 Select Committees County Jurisdiction, 1973-1974 *Chair, 1973-1974 Fire Services, 1976 Manpower Development, 1972-1974 Revision of the Corporations Code, 1973-1975 *Chair, 1973-1975 Joint Committees Open Space, 1969-1973 *Chair, 1969-1970 Revision of the Penal Code, 1977-1980 Joint Legislative Committees Bay Area Regional Organization, 1969-1970 *Chair, 1969-1970 Special Subcommittee Community Development, 1976-1978

From the guide to the John T. Knox papers, 1960-1980, (California State Archives)


John Theryll Knox was born September 30, 1924 in Reno, Nevada to Ernest B. and Jean Monat Knox. He has lived in California since 1929. He attended public schools in Sacramento and Alhambra. He served with the United States Air Force 1943-1945. He received an A.B. degree from Occidental College in 1949, and a J.D. degree from Hastings College of Law in 1952. He married Jean Henderson on December 27, 1949 and they had three children--John Henderson, Charlotte Marie, and Mary Lucretia. Knox was admitted to the Bar in 1953 and had a private law practice in Richmond from that date.

He was elected to the State Assembly in a special election, November 8, 1960. In the Assembly he was elected Speaker Pro Tempore on January 19, 1976, and he was reelected through the last session he served, 1979-80. He was the Chairman of the Select Committee on Revision of the Nonprofit Corporations Code; Vice Chairman on the Committee on Criminal Justice; member of Assembly Committees--Ways and Means, Local Government, Policy Research Management and Joint Committee on the Revision of the Penal Code. Knox was only the second first-term Assemblyman to be named to the important Assembly Rules Committee since 1900, and he was an Ex officio member in his final term. As Chairman of the Municipal and County Government Committee, he held hearings throughout the State in the wake of the 1965 tax scandles in order to gather information for the Assessment Reform measure.

In 1968 he authored a revision of the Corporate Securities Act. In 1969 he was the chief author of legislation to establish the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission as a permanent state agency. In 1970 he coauthored a bill to regulate the franchising industry in California, and he was the principal author of the Environmental Quality Act. He received the second Annual Bay Area Environment Award of the San Francisco Bay Area Council for the single most significant contribution to the Bay Area environment, 1970. He was also a member of such committees as Finance and Insurance, Select Committee on Environmental Quality and the Joint Committee on National Tax Policy.

Knox retired from the Assembly at the end of the 1979-80 session and joined the San Francisco office of a Los Angeles based law firm, Nossaman, Krueger & Marsh. The September, 1982 telephone book for San Francisco lists the firm as Nossaman, Krueger & Knox. He worked for the firm as an attorney and lobbyist making frequent trips to Sacramento. In 1981 he was appointed by Governor Brown to the board of directors of the Hastings College of Law and to the Commission on Uniform State Laws.

From the guide to the John Theryll Knox Papers, (California State Library)

Place Name Admin Code Country
Contra Costa County (Calif.)
California. Legislature. Assembly.
Environmental policy
Local government--Law and legislation
California. Legislature. Assembly
Local government


Birth 1924



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SNAC ID: 66686247