Cox, James M. (James Middleton), 1870-1957

Alternative names
Birth 1870-03-31
Death 1957-07-15

Biographical notes:

Governor of Ohio, 1913-1915, and 1917-1921; U.S. Congressman, 1909-1913.

From the description of Letter, 1917. (Ohio University). WorldCat record id: 12691001

Newspaperman and politician, born March 31, 1870 in Butler County, Ohio. Cox served in the U.S. Congress, 1909-1913, and was elected Governor of Ohio in 1912, serving 3 terms. In 1920, Cox was the Democratic Party's nominee for President, his running mate was Franklin D. Roosevelt. After losing the 1920 election, Cox devoted himself to public service and his growing newspaper business. Cox died in Dayton, July 15, 1957.

From the description of Papers, 1908-1957. (University of Wisconsin, Superior). WorldCat record id: 31007947

James M. Cox is known for his long and prominent career as a journalist and politician. Cox was a U.S. Congressman representing Ohio's 3rd District from 1909-1913, and the governor of Ohio from 1913-1915 and from 1917-1921. In 1920 he was the Democratic nominee for President with Franklin D. Roosevelt as his running mate. Cox was also the owner and publisher of several newspapers including the Dayton Daily News and the Dayton Journal Herald.

James M. Cox was the youngest of seven children when he was born on March 31, 1870 to Gilbert and Eliza Andrew Cox at Cox Homestead, Jacksonburg, Butler County, Ohio. During his high school years, James M. Cox was employed as a printer's devil in a newspaper office. He attended high school in Amanda, a suburb of Middletown, Ohio. In 1887 he earned his teacher certification and taught in Rockdale Schools and Titus School District. He was also a superintendent of night school in Middletown, Ohio. On Saturdays, Cox delivered the entire circulation of the (Middletown) Weekly Signal, a newspaper owned by his brother-in-law. This was the job that began his career in journalism. He later became a reporter and was associated with the Cincinnati Enquirer in an editorial capacity (1892).

The newspapers owned by James M. Cox included Dayton Daily News (1898), Springfield Press-Republic (1905), Miami Metropolis (1923), Canton News (1923 and sold in 1930), Atlanta Journal (1939), Dayton Journal Herald (1948), Atlanta Constitution (1950).

James M. Cox was a member of the 61st & 62nd Congress as a representative for the 3rd Ohio Congressional district from 1909-1913. He served three terms as Governor of Ohio from 1913-1915, 1917-1919, and 1919-1921. He was also Vice-chairman, American delegation to the World Monetary and Economic Conference in London, England in 1933.

Cox married Mary Simpson Harding, with whom he had three children: Helen, James Jr. in 1903, and John W. Cox later married Margaretta Blair on September 15, 1917. They had two daughters, Ann and Barbara. James Cox and his family resided at his mansion, Trailsend, in Dayton, Ohio.

James Cox published his autobiography in 1946 titled Journey Through My Years . He passed away on July 15, 1957 and is buried at Woodland Cemetery in Dayton, Ohio.

From the guide to the James M. Cox Papers, 1908-1957, (Wright State University, Special Collections and Archives)


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  • Automobiles--Law and legislation
  • Industrial laws and legislation
  • Politicians
  • Labor laws and legislation
  • Liquor laws
  • Journalism
  • Floods
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  • Public welfare
  • Workers' compensation
  • Presidential candidates--United States
  • Motion pictures--Censorship
  • Presidents--United States--Election--1920
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  • Ohio (as recorded)
  • Ohio-Politics and government-1865-1950 (as recorded)
  • Ohio (as recorded)
  • United States-Politics and government -1901-1953 (as recorded)
  • Ohio (as recorded)
  • Springfield (Ohio) (as recorded)
  • Ohio--Dayton (as recorded)
  • Ohio (as recorded)
  • Ohio (as recorded)
  • Ohio-Governors (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Ohio (as recorded)