Ronnie Knox
Knox from 1956 UCLA yearbook
Born:(1935-02-14)February 14, 1935
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Died:May 4, 1992(1992-05-04) (aged 57)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Career information
CFL statusAmerican
Height6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight198 lb (90 kg)
CollegeCalifornia, UCLA
High schoolSanta Monica (CA)
NFL draft1957 / Round: 3 / Pick: 37
Drafted byChicago Bears
Career history
As player
1956Hamilton Tiger-Cats
1956Calgary Stampeders
1957Chicago Bears
1958–1959Toronto Argonauts

Ronald Knox (February 14, 1935 – May 4, 1992) was a National Football League (NFL) and Canadian Football League (CFL) quarterback. He played college football at UC Berkeley and UCLA.

High school and college

The son of Dr. Raoul Landry, who was a professor of nuclear physics, Ronnie's parents divorced when he was young. He had a sister, Patricia.[citation needed]

An All-American at Santa Monica High School, and known by his step-father's surname, Ronnie Knox played under the tutelage of coach Jim Sutherland.[1] He played his freshman season for Pappy Waldorf's California Golden Bears before abruptly transferring to UCLA in the fall of 1954. Knox's stepfather, Harvey Knox, was accused of interfering with the Bears' coaching staff and of making extreme monetary demands on the university.[citation needed]

Harvey Knox interfered with his son's high school coaches and Ronnie played for three different high school teams (Beverly Hills, Inglewood, Santa Monica) in three years.[2] Harvey Knox was also accused of interfering in the business of his stepdaughter, actress Patricia Knox.[2]

Ronnie Knox played for one season at UCLA in 1955 before being declared ineligible due to accepting "under-the-table" financing.[3]

Professional football

After leaving UCLA, Knox signed a movie contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, but he would never appear in any pictures for the studio.[4] Knox signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats,[5] but would leave the team after one month to once again pursue a film career. Knox signed with the Calgary Stampeders on October 3, 1956, six days after quitting the Tiger-Cats.[6]

Selected in the third round of the 1957 NFL Draft, Knox signed with the Chicago Bears. He was suspended indefinitely by head coach (and owner) George Halas in early October 1957 for violations which included his stepfather's public criticism of the team and missing two practices and a quarterback tutoring session without reason.[7]

Due to a bitter dispute with the Bears, Knox was not allowed by Halas to play for the Bears or play for any other NFL team.[8] Instead, he signed with the Toronto Argonauts midway through 1958 CFL season with a promise by Harvey Knox to the team that he would not interfere. His most notable performance came on October 25, 1958 when, playing the Ottawa Rough Riders, he passed for 522 yards, then a team record and still second most in Argonaut history. After splitting up with his stepfather,[9] Knox would play only one more season of football before retiring, saying that football was a "game for animals."[10]


This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources in this section. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Ronnie Knox" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (January 2022) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

After leaving Toronto, Knox appeared in a few movies and television shows,[11] but did not return to football, despite offers from the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers of the newly formed American Football League.

In the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s Knox drifted around California, residing only a short time in various towns, prior to moving again. In July 1988 a reporter located him as he was moving out of a one-room apartment in Canoga Park. Knox had lived there for just several weeks, spending the majority of his time writing poetry. Aside from past residences in McKinleyville, Malibu, and San Francisco, Knox lived for short periods in other states, i.e. Maine and Texas. He also lived for brief stints in Mexico and Europe.

Having been single since a divorce from painter Renate Druks[12] in 1964, his philosophy was to stay free. Knox compared his lifestyle to the noble savage written about by James Fenimore Cooper. He read English literature by the hour, stretched out on a cot or in his worn out twelve-year-old car. He yearned for a life at sea.[13]


  1. ^ "Fan Has Fond Memories of Knox", Los Angeles Times, July 30, 1988, pg. 3.
  2. ^ a b Knox, Harvey (September 6, 1954). "Why Ronnie Knox Quit California". Sports Illustrated. p. 32.
  3. ^ "Ronnie Knox Plans Stiff Fight To Retain Football Eligibility". United Press Associations. May 23, 1956. Archived from the original on November 6, 2012. Retrieved April 2, 2011.
  4. ^ Eller, Claudia (May 4, 1999). "MGM Continues to Struggle to Reinvent Itself". Los Angeles Times.
  5. ^ "Ronnie Knox Ends College Career; Signs With Hamilton Pro Eleven". Associated Press. August 19, 1956. Retrieved April 2, 2011.
  6. ^ "Harvey and Ronnie Agree to Terms With Calgary". Los Angeles Times. October 3, 1956. Retrieved 2 April 2011.
  7. ^ "Ronnie Knox suspended". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. October 4, 1957. p. 20.
  8. ^ "Ronnie Knox going back to Toronto". Prescott Evening Courier. (Arizona). Associated Press. February 19, 1959. p. 11.
  9. ^ "Ronnie Knox Splits Up With Stepfather". Los Angeles Times. June 14, 1958. Retrieved 2 April 2011.
  10. ^ "'It's game for animals,' says poet Ronnie Knox as he quits football". St. Petersburg Times. (Florida). Associated Press. September 16, 1959. p. 2C.
  11. ^ "Ronnie Knox Quits Football For Acting". The Miami News. United Press International. July 26, 1958.
  12. ^ Archived 2020-08-27 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Poetry in Motion, Los Angeles Times, July 17, 1988, Internet article.