Representative Knodl was born in Milwaukee and raised in Menomonee Falls. He attended the Menomonee Falls public schools, graduating from Menomonee Falls East in 1977.
Dan's leadership days began in 4th grade as Class President and as Student Council President in 8th grade. He then became the first Junior in school history to become Student Council President at Falls East. He served as Council President his Senior year as well.
Dan's business endeavors began with a paper route at age 12, caddying at 14, bussing tables at 16, and at age 17 he purchased a mobile vending business. He obtained a Wisconsin Tax ID and named his business Tummy Yummy Concessions, selling popcorn, cotton candy, ice cream, and other treats throughout the neighborhoods of Menomonee Falls and Germantown.
Dan, along with his older brother purchased rental real estate and also opened the Barrelhouse Bar and Broiler in Germantown in 1985. Dan then purchased Reef Point Resort on Pike Lake in Hartford, which he operated until last year. He and others created the Pike Lake Sportsmen's Club in 1992.
Dan has served in elected offices on the Pike Lake Advancement Association, Pike Lake Protection District, and Washington County Board of Supervisors. He served as State Representative for the 24th Assembly District for 14 years. While in the Assembly, he held the leadership positions of Assistant Majority Leader and Majority Caucus Chair. He was elected to the State Senate in the April 2023 special election to fill the seat vacated by the retirement of State Senator Alberta Darling.
Dan is a member of the Ozaukee/Washington Land Trust, Pike Lake Sportsmans Club, Menomonee Falls Optimist Club, and the Knights of Columbus at St. Boniface Parish in Germantown.
Dan has four children (Taylir, Ryan, Ciara, and Spenser) and six grandchildren.