Timothy Knowles was born in Bradenton, Florida, on April 5, 1952. He initially studied Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at Webb Institute of Naval Architecture, earning a B.S. degree in that discipline in 1975. He also studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1978). Prior to earning his law degree, Mr. Knowles was associated with John J. McMullen Associates, Inc., of Arlington, Virginia, as a naval architect, and is the co-holder of Patent No. 4,341,174. He subsequently enrolled at the Stetson University School of Law where he earned his J.D. in 1982.