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Hartselle Enquirer

52 year career

Clif Knight and his wife Geanell will have more time to spend gardening after he retires. | Amanda Gordon
Clif Knight and his wife Geanell will have more time to spend gardening after he retires. | Amanda Gordon

Knight retires after 52 years as newspaperman

Staff Reports

Hartselle Enquirer

 

Clif Knight is retiring from his job as a staff writer at the Hartselle Enquirer after logging more than 52 years as a newspaper editor, photographer and part owner. His employment with the Hartselle Enquirer spans 48 years.

His career as a full-time newspaper employee will end June 30 but he will continue to be available for free lance writing and photography assignments.

By far the majority of Knight’s newspaper career was spent in Hartselle behind a desk at the Hartselle Enquirer office or puttering around town looking for something to write about. He joined the Hartselle Enquirer staff as associate editor in September 1961 after breaking in as a cub reporter with the Aberdeen, Miss. Examiner. After five and one-half years, he made a career change by becoming the editor of the ‘Spinnerette,’ a bi-weekly newspaper published by Monsanto Company in Decatur for its employees and their families.

He rejoined the Hartselle Enquirer staff in March 1970 as editor and part owner and retained that position until March 1998 when the newspaper was sold to Boone Newspapers Inc. He remained on staff as editor until he stepped down in July 2000 to run for mayor of Hartselle. In September 2014, after losing a bid for reelection, he returned to the newspaper as a staff writer.

“I thought I’d be happy to go home and take a long rest after leaving the mayor’s office,” Knight noted. “Instead, I was chomping at the bit to start writing again when then publisher Leada Gore called and offered me a job. “I’m grateful for the opportunity Boone Newspapers gave me to continue my career.”

Knight has been recognized as an award winner for news and editorial writing on numerous occasions. His ‘One Man’s Opinion’ column garnered a first place award among Alabama’s largest weekly and semi-weekly newspapers in the 1960s. In addition, he received the George Washington Honor Medal Award from the Freedom Foundation at Valley Forge for editorial writing in the ‘Spinnerette’ in support of free enterprise and the American way of life.

A native of Lineville, AL, Knight is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and a graduate of the University of Alabama with a B.A. degree in journalism.

He and his wife Geanell have been married for 61 years. They have two sons and a daughter, three granddaughters and a great-granddaughter. They reside in Hartselle and have no plans to leave.

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