Jim McKnight, 82, founder and president of the former National Public Services Research Institute, a Landover traffic safety research organization, died Oct. 29 at his home in Annapolis.

He had a stroke, said his wife, Cheryl Lytle.

Mr. McKnight founded the National Public Services Research Institute in 1971. He served as the organization’s president and chief scientist until 1994, when the institute merged with the Public Services Research Institute (PSRI). He stayed on as an adviser for three years and later worked as a consultant.

Mr. McKnight also served as an associate editor of the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention for more than 30 years and chaired several Transportation Research Board committees, said his wife.

He was previously a research scientist at the Human Resources Research Organization in Alexandria from 1958 to 1971.

Albert James McKnight was born in Providence, R.I., and was a 1952 graduate of Brown University. He received a master’s degree in 1956 and a doctorate in 1958, both in psychology, from the University of Minnesota.

He came to the Washington area in 1958 as a research scientist for the Human Resources Research Organization in Alexandria.

Mr. McKnight acted, wrote, composed, directed and produced for various Washington area theaters, including the Hexagon Club in Washington, the Arlington Players and the Little Theater of Alexandria.

His memberships included the Eastport Yacht Club in Annapolis, where he founded a local amateur theater program called “No-Talent Night.” He enjoyed skiing and sailing.

Before moving to Annapolis in 1988, he lived in Northern Virginia for 30 years.

His first marriage, to Mickey Miller, ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife of 20 years, Cheryl Lytle of Annapolis; three children from his first marriage, Dave McKnight of Littleton, Colo., Scott McKnight and Diane McKnight, both of Alexandria; and one granddaughter.

— Megan McDonough