J. P. Knapp, Publisher, Outdoorsman, and UNC Benefactor

J. P. KnappOn January 30, 1951, publisher and conservationist Joseph Palmer Knapp died.

A native of New York, born in 1864, Knapp was the publisher of Collier’s magazine. His American Lithographic Company pioneered the use of color inserts in newspapers and baseball cards distributed with tobacco. That connection led to his acquaintance with James B. Duke and the Tar Heel State.

An avid sportsman and co-founder of what became Ducks Unlimited, Knapp settled in Currituck County where he built a 37-room mansion that would remain his residence from November to April for the rest of his life.

Though a part-time resident, Knapp became a generous member of the community, donating to the local schools. In 1947, at the urging of Governor Gregg Cherry, he extended his generosity to the entire state via a gift of $250,000 to survey school needs.

Once in North Carolina, Knapp also began a correspondence with Albert Coates, founder of the Institute of Government at UNC. Coates persuaded Knapp to fund the construction of a permanent home for the institution. Knapp did not live the see the building. After his death, the foundation transferred funds to be matched by the state for the construction.

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