Rolf Knight was born in Vancouver, BC 1936. As a teenager he went to work in the resource workers' camps of the British Columbia coast until the late 1950s.
After earning a BA and MA from the University of British Columbia, he received a PhD from Columbia University in New York in 1968. He taught in a number of American universities, including Columbia, and returned to Canada to teach at the University of Manitoba, Simon Fraser University, and the University of Toronto. For some years he also drove taxi in Vancouver.
Rolf Knight is the author of numerous important books about BC history, including A Very Ordinary Life (with Phyllis Knight) (1974), A Man of Our Times (with Maya Koizumi) (1976), Indians At Work (1978; 1996), and Homer Stevens: A Life In Fishing (1992). In 1992, he received an award from the Canadian Historical Association for career contributions to regional history.