Together with his brother, Northrup, Seymour Knox III brought the NHL to Buffalo, New York. Under his guidance the Buffalo Sabres became one of the top clubs in the league and a model of how to integrate a sports franchise with the surrounding community.
Born and bred in Buffalo, Knox excelled at tennis, squash, and polo. He was educated at Yale and Columbia before being a decorated Corporal in the United States Army Field Artillery in World War II. After the War he embarked on a successful banking career and became one of Buffalo's prominent citizens.
The Knox brothers first applied for an NHL franchise during the 1967 expansion wave with an application officially presented on October 19, 1965. Despite being unsuccessful, this setback strengthened their resolve to join the league. In the fall of 1968 they worked out an arrangement to finance the Oakland Seals operations with the intent that they would move them to Buffalo pending NHL approval. When the league opted to keep the franchise in California, the Knoxes continued to argue the merit of placing a franchise in the greater Buffalo area.
On December 2, 1969 their efforts were finally rewarded when it was announced that the NHL was expanding to Buffalo and Vancouver. Knox quickly assembled a first rate hockey operation under the guidance of former Toronto Maple Leafs bench boss George "Punch" Imlach. The Sabres qualified for the post-season in only their third season and reached the Stanley Cup finals two years later in 1975. That same year Knox was named The Hockey News executive of the year.
A respected administrator, Knox served on the NHL's Board of Governors for 25 years and was a director of the US Hockey Hall of Fame. He was the impetus behind the establishment of the Buffalo Bandits of the Major Indoor Lacrosse League and the Buffalo Blizzard of the National Professional Soccer League. Knox was a generous contributor to a host of charitable causes and community activities in Greater Buffalo such as the Chamber of Commerce, United Way and Children's Foundation of Erie County. His passing in 1996 was felt deeply in western New York and throughout the National Hockey League.
He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1993.