Jimmy Lile, or the “Arkansas Knifemaker,” was born in 1933 as the son of a coal miner in Russellville, AR. Like many of the influential knife makers of the 20th century, he began his knife making career by fashioning a blade from a piece of scrap metal (file) that was lying around. Jimmy Lile knives achieved international fame when he was approached by Sylvester Stallone to design the modified clip bowie survival knife for the first two Rambo movies. His wife Marilyn engraved his name on many of his early knives. Among the many celebrities who would go on to own his work included U.S. Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. His “Lile Lock” or button lock knives are so highly regarded they are on display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. James B. Lile passed away in May of 1991. Check out more custom knives by Bob Loveless and Ruana.
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