Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus

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The Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus (more simply referred to as the Supreme Knight) is the chief executive officer and chairman of the board of the Knights of Columbus, the world's largest Catholic family fraternal service organization. He leads more than 1.8 million members in more than 14,000 councils and oversees over $77 billion of life insurance in force, as of 2013. [1]

Chief executive officer highest-ranking corporate officer or administrator

The chief executive officer (CEO), or just chief executive (CE), is the most senior corporate, executive, or administrative officer in charge of managing an organization – especially an independent legal entity such as a company or nonprofit institution. CEOs lead a range of organizations, including public and private corporations, non-profit organizations and even some government organizations. The CEO of a corporation or company typically reports to the board of directors and is charged with maximizing the value of the entity, which may include maximizing the share price, market share, revenues, or another element. In the non-profit and government sector, CEOs typically aim at achieving outcomes related to the organization's mission, such as reducing poverty, increasing literacy, etc.

Knights of Columbus Catholic fraternal service organization

The Knights of Columbus is the world's largest Catholic fraternal service organization. Founded by Michael J. McGivney in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1882, it was named in honor of the explorer Christopher Columbus. Originally serving as a mutual benefit society to working-class and immigrant Catholics in the United States, it developed into a fraternal benefit society dedicated to providing charitable services, including war and disaster relief, actively defending Catholicism in various nations, and promoting Catholic education. The Knights also support the Catholic Church's positions on public policy issues, including various political causes, and are participants in the new evangelization. The current Supreme Knight is Carl A. Anderson.

Since its founding in 1882, there have been 13 Supreme Knights. [2] Carl A. Anderson is the current Supreme Knight, a position he has held since 2000.

Carl A. Anderson thirteenth Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus

Carl Albert Anderson is the thirteenth and current Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus. Anderson is vice president of the Washington session of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family.

Supreme Knight [3] Term beganTerm endedDeputy Supreme Knight [3] DSK TermSupreme Chaplain [3] SC Term
1 James T. Mullen James T. Mullen.jpg February 2, 1882May 17, 1886John T. Kerrigan [4] 1882 to 1884Rev. Patrick P. Lawlor1882 to 1884
John F. Dowling [5] 1884 to 1886Rev. Michael J. McGivney [5] 1884 to 1890
2 John J. Phelan [6] John J. Phelan.jpg May 17, 1886March 2, 1897 William Hassett [6] 1886 to 1887
James C. Roach1887 to 1895
Rev. Hugh Treanor1891 to 1899
James E. Hayes1895 to 1897
3 James E. Hayes James E. Hayes.jpg March 2, 1897February 8, 1898John J. Cone [7] 1897 to 1898
4 John J. Cone John J. Cone.jpg March 2, 1898March 31, 1899Vacant
5 Edward L. Hearn Edward L. Hearn.jpg April 1, 1899August 31, 1909 John W. Hogan [8] [9] April 1, 1899 to June 3, 1903Rev. Garrett J. Barry1899 to 1901
Rev. Patrick J. McGivney [10] [11] 1901 to 1928
Patrick L. McArdle [9] [12] June 3, 1903 [9] to 1905
James A. Flaherty [13] 1905 to 1909
6 James A. Flaherty [11] [14] James A. Flaherty.jpg September 1, 1909August 31, 1927Martin H. Carmody [11] 1909 to 1927
7 Martin H. Carmody [11] [15] September 1, 1927August 31, 1939John F. Martin [11] [16] 1927 to 1933
Rev. John J. McGivney [11] [16] 1928 to 1939
Francis P. Matthews [15] 1933 to 1939
8 Francis P. Matthews [16] Francis P. Matthews.jpg September 2, 1939October 14, 1945John E. Swift1939 to 1945Rev. Leo M. Finn [16] [17] 1939 to 1960
9 John E. Swift [18] [19] October 24, 1945August 31, 1953 Timothy P. Galvin 1945 to 1949
William J. Mulligan [19] [20] 1949 to 1960
10 Luke E. Hart KennedyHart.jpg September 1, 1953February 19, 1964
John W. McDevitt [20] [21] 1960 to 1964Bishop Charles P. Greco [22] [17] 1961 to January 20, 1987
11 John W. McDevitt February 22, 1964January 21, 1977 John H. Griffin, MD [21] [23] 1964 to 1966
Charles J. Ducey [24] [25] 1966 to April 1976
Ernest J. Wolff [25] 1976 to 1977
12 Virgil C. Dechant January 21, 1977September 30, 2000Frederick H. Pelletier [25] [26] 1977 to 1981
John M. Murphy1981 to 1984
Ellis D. Flinn [27] 1984 to February 1, 1997
Bishop Thomas V. Daily [28] February 13, 1987 to April 1, 2005
Robert F. Wade [29] April 1, 1997 to September 30, 2000
13 Carl A. Anderson Carl A. Anderson.jpg October 1, 2000Present Jean B. Migneault [30] October 1, 2000 to October 27, 2006
Archbishop William E. Lori [31] April 2, 2005 to Present
Dennis A. Savoie [32] [33] October 27, 2006 to December 2013
Logan T. Ludwig [34] December 12, 2013 to December 16, 2016
Patrick E. Kelly [34] January 1, 2017 to present

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Luke E. Hart Supreme KNight of the Knigts of Columbus

Luke E. Hart was the tenth Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus from September 1, 1953 to February 19, 1964.

John E. Swift was an American judge and the ninth Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus from October 24, 1945 to August 31, 1953.

Martin Henry Carmody was the seventh Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus from September 1, 1927 to August 31, 1939.

Edward L. Hearn Fifth Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus

Count Edward Leo Hearn was the fifth Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus from April 1, 1899 to August 31, 1909.

James E. Hayes third Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus

James E. Hayes was an American politician and the third Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus from March 2, 1897 to February 8, 1898.

James T. Mullen Union United States Army soldier

James Terrance Mullen was the first Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus from February 2, 1882 to May 17, 1886. He also served in the New Haven, Connecticut police and Fire Departments, and as an alderman. With his service in the Union Army and in several fraternal orders, he has been described as "veteran of fraternity."

Charles Pasquale Greco was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Alexandria in Louisiana from 1946 to 1973. He was also the Supreme Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus from 1961 to 1987.

The history of the Knights of Columbus and The Catholic University of America is one of "a close and supportive relationship" that dates back almost to the founding of the university. David M. O'Connell, then-president of CUA, has said, "It is difficult to speak about the progress of The Catholic University of America throughout its long history without, at the same time and in the same breath, mentioning the Knights of Columbus. So much of what CUA is today is the result of the generosity and support of the Knights of Columbus." The fourth rector of the University, Monsignor Thomas J. Shahan, congratulated the Order for having founded a "Knights of Columbus College" after a particularly large donation saved the University after a rocky financial period.

John F. Martin was the Deputy Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus from 1927 to 1933. He was first elected to the Board of Directors at the Supreme Convention in 1912 at Colorado Springs.

Timothy Galvin was a lawyer and Deputy Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus.

William Hassett was the Deputy Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus. He was from Wallingford, Connecticut. Previously he had served as Supreme Lecturer.

Charles J. Ducey was Deputy Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus.

The history of the Knights of Columbus begins with its founding in 1882 by Father Michael J. McGivney at St. Mary's Parish in New Haven, Connecticut. Originally intended to be a mutual benefit society, it has since grown into a Catholic anti-defamation league, a leading philanthropic society, and the world's largest Catholic fraternal service organization.

Political activity of the Knights of Columbus

Political activity of the Knights of Columbus concerns any involvement of the Knights of Columbus, the world's largest Catholic fraternal service organization, to try to influence public and government policy. While the Knights of Columbus support political awareness and activity, United States councils are prohibited by tax laws from engaging in candidate endorsement and partisan political activity due to their non-profit status.

The charitable activities of the Knights of Columbus include the money and time donated by the Order of the Knights of Columbus, state and local councils, and individual members, to charitable causes.

Monsignor Charles Alphonsus "Zip" Finn was a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston. At the time of his death, he was the oldest priest in the United States, the oldest alumnus of Boston College, and the North American College, and the oldest Knight of Columbus.

Joseph C. Pelletier was district attorney of Suffolk County, Massachusetts and the Supreme Advocate of the Knights of Columbus.


  1. "Annual Report of the Supreme Knight" (pdf). Knights of Columbus. August 6, 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  2. "History of the Knights - Supreme Knights". Knights of Columbus Supreme Council. Retrieved 2011-01-25.
  3. 1 2 3 Knights of Columbus archives (December 3, 2018). "Knights of Columbus Supreme Officers" . Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  4. Kauffman 1982, p. 18.
  5. 1 2 Kauffman 1982, pp. 40-41.
  6. 1 2 Kauffman 1982, p. 61.
  7. Kauffman 1982, p. 103.
  8. Kauffman 1982, p. 131.
  9. 1 2 3 "National Council, K of C., Increases Issue. Next Convention Will Be Held in Louisville". The Boston Globe. June 4, 1903. p. 3.|access-date= requires |url= (help)
  10. "The Life and Legacy of Father Michael J. McGivney" (PDF). Knights of Columbus. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  11. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Kauffman 1982, p. 287.
  12. Dodge 1903, p. 9; Kauffman 1982, p. 114.
  13. "History of the Uniontown Council No. 1275" . Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  14. "First Michigan Man to be Elected Supreme Knight". The Augustinian. XXXV (87). Kalamzaoo, Michigan. August 20, 1927. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  15. 1 2 "K. of C. Pledge support for NRA". The Bulletin. XIV (16). Augusta, Ga. August 26, 1933. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  16. 1 2 3 4 Kauffman 1982, p. 338.
  17. 1 2 Kauffman 1982, p. 394.
  18. Kauffman 1982, p. 357.
  19. 1 2 "Swift Appoints Mulligan Deputy Supreme Knight". The Boston Globe. May 21, 1949. p. 2. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  20. 1 2 "K. of C Re-elect* Hart Supreme Knight". The Berkshire Eagle. Pittsfield, Massachusetts. October 22, 1960. p. 5. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  21. 1 2 "HON. JOHN H. GRIFFIN, M.D., K.S.G., K.H.S." (PDF). Knights of Columbus Maryland State Council. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  22. "Bishop Charles P. Greco" (pdf). Louisiana Ladies Auxiliary Association. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
  23. Jordan, Robert (March 1, 1964). "New Chief of Knights Led Waltham Schools". The Boston Globe. p. 54. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  24. "McDevitt is reelected as KC head". New Orleans Clarion Herald. October 27, 1966. p. 2. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  25. 1 2 3 Kauffman 1982, p. 417.
  26. "Local Delegates at K of C Convention". Hanover Evening Sun. May 21, 1979. p. 14. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  27. "ORDER MOURNS THE PASSING OF FORMER DEPUTY SUPREME KNIGHT". Knights of Columbus. April 11, 2013. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  28. "KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS MOURNS THE PASSING OF SUPREME CHAPLAIN EMERITUS". Knights of Columbus. May 15, 2017. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
  29. "Annual Report of Supreme Knight Virgil C. Dechant". Chuck Hauger. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  30. Anderson, Carl A. (September 11, 2008). "SUPREME KNIGHT'S EULOGY FOR JEAN MIGNEAULT". Knights of Columbus. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  31. "ARCHBISHOP WILLIAM E. LORI, S.T.D. SUPREME CHAPLAIN OF THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS". Knights of Columbus. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
  32. Gosgnach, Tony (August 30, 2007). "Q and A with: Dennis Savoie". The Interim. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  33. Gyapong, Deborah (February 27, 2015). "Ambassador settles in to new role in Rome". The B.C. Catholic. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  34. 1 2 "Patrick E. Kelly". Knights of Columbus. Retrieved February 1, 2018.


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