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James Knowles, Mayor of Ferguson: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

michael wood shooting, ferguson missouri mayor, james knowles III

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles and Michael Brown (inset). (Facebook)

James Knowles is the under-fire Mayor of Ferguson, Missouri. His city has come under intense media spotlight after the shooting death of Michael Brown on August 10. The black 18-year-old was unarmed when he was gunned down by an on-duty cop.

Since the killing, the city of Ferguson has been subject to mass protests, hacking and looting. Knowles has pleaded with the looters to stop, has canceled protests, and told the media “We want people to have faith in the process.” Earlier he had defended the officers’ policing of the looting, saying “The officers did their best. They’re only human.”

Here’s what you need to know about the mayor of America’s most controversial city:


1. He’s a Republican

As a member of the GOP, Knowles was the president of the Missouri Young Republicans while he was a student at the University of Missouri. According to St. Louis Public Radio, Knowles is “one of the few Republicans who hold elected office in north St. Louis County.”


2. He’s One of the Youngest Mayors in Missouri

Knowles was elected Mayor of Ferguson back in April 2011 at the age of 31. He got 49 percent of the vote, defeating a former mayor, Steve Wegert. The electorate chose “mostly fresh faces” during that election, according to the website of North St. Louis County.


3. One of His Hobbies Is ‘Shooting’

james knowles, ferguson mayor, michael brown shooting

According to Knowles’ LinkedIn page, among his interests are “sport shooting.” He also says that he enjoys hunting, fishing, traveling, history and cooking.

His page also indicates he was twice named in St. Louis Business Journal’s 30 under 30, in 2009 and 2010.


4. He Wanted Brendan Ryan to Remain With the St. Louis Cardinals

ferguson missouri mayor, michael brown shooting

Brendan Ryan is hit by a pitch while playing for the Cardinals on April 9, 2009, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. He was traded to the Seattle Mariners in 2010. (Getty)

Knowles, along with 13 other people, was a member of a Facebook group that wanted to keep shortstop Brendan Ryan with the St. Louis Cardinals. Most other groups that Knowles is a member of are related to Republican-activities in Missouri.

Knowles was a frat boy, a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha – Phi Psi Zeta fraternity at Truman State University. On his LinkedIn, Knowles says that he attended Truman between 1997 and 2002, obtaining a degree in political science.


5. He Said in 2013 That ‘White Flight’ Was Not a Thing in Ferguson

ferguson mayor james knowles, michael brown shooting

In a posting on his Facebook page in February 2013, Knowles wrote about his disagreement with the analysis that white people were leaving Missouri’s cities. He said:

For the first tIme in a long time, people are choosing to move to Ferguson and choosing to stay if they have the choice. Ferguson has a formula that works, the question is will other declining areas follow the lead of Ferguson or fall victim to the same failed policies that destroyed many of the old North County communities?

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19 comments

  1. Why on earth would I “NEED TO KNOW” that he’s a Republican, that he wanted someone to keep playing for the Cardinals, that he’s one of the youngest Mayors? Come on, your trite fluff article belittles the serious issues that are tearing a community apart. Reporting nonsense like this in the middle of a time of grief is like a person offering bystanders marshmallows in the middle of a tornado.

    • You would only need to know this if you were a democrat trying to politicize the shooting and inflame racial division for cheap politics.

    • Sure does seem to be a l lot of useless info doesn’t it? Seems like the writer has more of a personal agenda than a desire to actually see that justice is done here. What a shock.

  2. Paul, the mayor’s connection to the incident alludes me. The mayor of a municipality doesn’t control anything except to help cool the situation. He/She doesn’t control the investigation, the incident, the hiring/firing, etc. As an outsider, this man seems to be doing and saying all the right things. The police may have been wrong and a tragedy occurred, but to hunt this man is wrong. Your five facts are completely unrelated and geared at hurting not helping this situation for the benefit of your website. That is not journalism–its sensationalism and irresponsible. Shame on you.

  3. possibly one of the worst articles ever written on a subject. obviously this ‘journalist’ was having creative block so Paul just decided to write drivel instead of calling it an early night and getting a good nights rest. He must have been under very harsh and demanding deadlines but an editor short on enlightening material and needing something to fill a screen, anything.

  4. Every executive official effecting Mike Brown’s life was black and/or a Democrat.

    This story has nothing to do with race and their is no viable way to ensure perfect police.

    The police unions are Democrats too, this stands only to go in circles and damage the regional economy the longer it does.

    • All democrats try to do is inflame racial issues for polticial gain. They pour gasoline on the fire and hope the extra votes they get in the next election is more than the number of their voters who are killed the in the violence they incite.

  5. After watching this sorry excuse of a “mayor” ramble on MSNBC that there is no racial divide in his city (Ferguson MO) and that a majority of his constituents agree with the police tactics I can’t help but coming to the conclusion that Mr. Knowles is either:
    a) High on some mind altering drug
    b) completely ignorant to what is happening
    c) Complicit in inciting a race war by racist police by allowing the oppression of black Americans in Ferguson to continue
    d) All of the above
    I hope the good people of Ferguson have the option to recall this incompetent lout and avail themselves of this avenue.
    My heart goes out to all who are oppressed and have their constitutional rights wantonly violated by the GESTAPO tactics of this police farce under the [mis]leadership of yet another Republican who is ignorant to the needs of real Americans and the constitutional rights of all!

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