The Commodore Dudley W. Knox Naval History Lifetime Achievement Award was established by the Naval Historical Foundation in Washington, D.C., to honor the memory of the naval historian Commodore Dudley W. Knox and to recognize the lifetime achievements of historians of the United States Navy.

The award is named for Commodore Dudley Wright Knox (1877–1960). A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and Naval War College, Knox had a distinguished career as a naval officer with service in the Spanish-American War, Boxer Rebellion, Great White Fleet, and World War I. But it was his abilities as a historian, librarian, and archivist that earned him respect and admiration among his peers and later generations.

Transferred to the Retired List of the Navy on 20 October 1921, Knox served as Officer-in-Charge, Office of Naval Records and Library, and as Curator for the Navy Department. The publication of his clarion-call article “Our Vanishing Naval History” in the January 1926 issue of the U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings led to the establishment of the Naval Historical Foundation. Knox would serve as secretary of the organization for decades and was its president at the time of his passing in 1960.

The Naval Historical Foundation and the U.S. Naval Institute will host a dinner in honor of the recipients following the McMullen Naval History Symposium in Annapolis, Maryland. With the decommissioning of NHF in December of 2022, the U.S. Naval Institute has taken over responsibility for the Knox Award.