Edward R. Knight, a Margate resident and longtime fundraiser for AtlantiCare, died Saturday. He was 96.
Knight had a varied career as a lawyer, federal magistrate judge and head of a school for boys, but he was known for not bragging about any of it.
In May 2009, the AtlantiCare Foundation honored Knight, then 91, and his wife, Judith, at its Century Club Gala, marking the event’s 50th year. Knight helped establish the major fundraiser after joining the Atlantic City Medical Center board in 1954, before the hospital was renamed AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center.
AtlantiCare CEO David Tilton called Knight one of the “principal architects” of the current health system.
“His leadership at a crucial time in our history set us on a path toward success, ensuring that quality health care was accessible to all people in this community,” Tilton said. “Dr. Knight was intent on creating a better community for all. That is his legacy, and it is carried out daily by the hundreds of care givers throughout our healthcare system.”
Knight was president of the board of governors of AtlantiCare from 1073 until 1987. He then served as chairman emeritus from 1987 until 2014.
Knight told The Press in 2009 that he wanted to increase donations to the hospital, so he developed the Century Club. The club was named the Century Club because Knight hoped to get 100 people to show up. He got 104 that first year, and in 2009, more than 700 guests contributing $350,000 came through the door.
Knight grew up in the Midwest and attended the University of Wisconsin, where he met Judith. He went on to serve in the Army Air Corps during World War II.
He would serve as a school headmaster after the war and found his way to Margate, where he also worked as an attorney, a municipal court judge in Margate and a part-time U.S. magistrate judge.
A funeral will take place at 1:30 p.m. today at Congregation Beth Judah, 700 N. Swarthmore Road, Ventnor.