William Fife Knowland was an American politician and newspaper publisher. A member of the Republican Party, he served as a United States Senator from California from 1945 to 1959. He was Senate Majority Leader from August 1953 to January 1955 after the death of Robert A. Taft, a position he briefly regained from November 1956 to January 1957.
As one of the most powerful members of the Senate and with his strong interest in foreign policy, Knowland helped set national foreign policy priorities and funding for the Cold War, the policy regarding Vietnam, Formosa, China, Korea and NATO, as well as other foreign policy objectives. He opposed sending American forces to French Indochina and was a sharp critic of Communist China under Mao Zedong. Knowland represented the right-wing of the party and considered some of President Dwight D. Eisenhower's policies too liberal.
After the Republicans lost their majority in the 1954 election, he served as Minority Leader from January 1955 to November 1956 and again from January 1957 until January 1959. Knowland voted in favor of the Civil Rights Act of 1957. He was defeated in his 1958 run for Governor of California.