Roger Knox, Memphis Zoo and Goldsmith’s leader, dies at 81

Roger Knox

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Roger Knox, a major figure in business and civic life in Memphis through his leadership of both Goldsmith’s Department store and the Memphis Zoo, died Tuesday at 81.

Knox was president and CEO of Goldsmith’s Department Store (now known as Macy’s), retiring in the late 1980s.

He later became president and CEO of the Memphis Zoo, and is is credited with transforming the zoo into the world-class destination it is today with exhibits like Cat Country and Northwest Passage.

According to his obituary, Knox was born in Searcy, Arkansas. After serving in the Army, he served on the board of Memphis companies Fred’s and Hancock Fabrics, as well as holding leadership positions with nonprofits including Ballet Memphis and United Way.

Knox invited WREG to partner with the zoo in 2002 in bringing the pandas, Ya Ya and Le Le, for its China Exhibit that began in 2003.

A Celebration of Life event will take place at the Memphis Zoo from 5-7 p.m. May 30.

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