James Middleton Cox (March 31, 1870 - July 15, 1957) was a Governor of Ohio, U.S. Representative from Ohio and Democratic candidate for President of the United States in the election of 1920.
Cox was born in the tiny Butler County, Ohio village of Jacksonburg. Cox practiced a variety of trades throughout his life: high school teacher, reporter, owner and editor of several newspapers, and secretary to Congressman Paul J. Sorg. Cox represented Ohio in the United States House of Representatives (1909-1913), resigning after winning election as Governor of Ohio (1913-1915, and 1917-1921). He was nominated a candidate for the presidency by the Democratic party while serving as Governor. Cox supported the internationalist policies of Woodrow Wilson and favored U.S. entry into the League of Nations. However, he was defeated in the 1920 Presidential Election by fellow Ohioian Senator Warren G. Harding of Marion, Ohio. Cox's running mate was Franklin D. Roosevelt. One of the better known analyses of the 1920 election is in author Irving Stone's book about defeated Presidential candidates, They Also Ran. Stone rated Cox as superior in every way over Warren Harding, claiming the former would have made a much better President. Stone argued there was never a stronger case in the history of American presidential elections for the proposition that the better man lost.
Cox recorded for the Nation's Forum several times. The campaign speech featured here accuses the Republicans of failing to acknowledge that President Wilson's successful prosecution of the war had, according to Cox, saved "civilization."
Cox was publisher of the Dayton Daily News in Dayton, Ohio, where the newspaper's editorial meeting room is still referred to as the "governor's library." He built a large newspaper enterprise including the purchase of the Atlanta Georgian and Journal just a week before that city hosted the premier of Gone with the Wind. Governor Cox died at his home, Trail's End, in Kettering, Ohio in 1957 and was interred in the Woodland Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio.
His daughters Barbara Cox Anthony and Anne Cox Chambers own his media company, now called Cox Enterprises. The company's headquarters has been moved from Dayton to Atlanta.
Source: Library of Congress