William Lee Knous
William Lee Knous (February 2, 1889 - December 11, 1959) was a Colorado state legislator, Supreme Court justice and governor, and a US district judge.
He was born in Ouray, Colorado, the son of John Franklin Knous and Julia (Bain) Knous. He graduated from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1911. Knous married Elsie Marie Grabow on July 1, 1915. They had three children, William John, Robert Lee, and Merle Ray.
He moved to Montrose, Colorado, and subsequently became mayor, city attorney and deputy district attorney, and in 1929, was elected as a representative to the Colorado state legislature. He became a state senator in 1931.
In 1936, he was elected to the Colorado Supreme Court and moved to Denver, Colorado. He was elected governor of the state in 1946. Running for re-election in 1948, he carried every county in the state but one.
Knous was appointed a US district judge in 1950. Nominated by Harry S Truman on March 1, 1950, to a seat vacated by John Foster Symes; Confirmed by the Senate on April 4, 1950, he received his commission on April 7, 1950. Knous served as chief judge, 1954-1959. His service was terminated on December 12, 1959, due to death. According to the Colorado state archives, "He became the only man in the state ever to have occupied the highest seat in the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of government." His son, Robert Lee Knous, was subsequently a lieutenant governor of Colorado from 1959 to 1967.