Cox founder leaves legacy of public service, giving back
$5 million gift funds center for cancer prevention, integrative oncology
Did you know that the founder of your local cable company once ran for president of the United States . . . and that the foundation named in his honor is helping provide cancer prevention and care services for residents of Arizona and beyond?
James M. Cox was a former schoolteacher and news reporter in Ohio when he founded Cox Enterprises in 1898. His ambition was to own a newspaper, so at age 28, he borrowed $26,000 from friends and family and purchased the Dayton (Ohio) Evening News.
His success with the newspaper led him into public service, and Cox eventually became Ohio's first three-term governor. In 1920, he was the Democratic nominee for president of the United States. After losing the election to Warren Harding, Cox turned his attention to growing his media business.
Today, that business is a leading communications, media and automotive services company with revenues of nearly $16 billion and more than 50,000 employees across the United States. Gov. Cox died in 1957, but the company he founded is still family-owned and continues to operate in accordance with his values.
“Ask yourself one question, ‘Is it right?’ Then do what you believe is best for your town, your state and your country,” was Cox’s motto.
Through the James M. Cox Foundation, Cox Enterprises fulfills its founder’s vision by providing philanthropic support to the communities in which it operates. The foundation’s $5 million grant to Banner Health helped fund the James M. Cox Foundation Center for Cancer Prevention and Integrative Oncology at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center.
As a nonprofit health system, Banner relies on the generosity of individuals, corporations and foundations, such as the Cox Foundation, to help fulfill its mission of making a difference in people’s lives through excellent patient care. These benefactors and partners in wellness make the difference between a good healthcare system and an outstanding one.
“The Cox Foundation is particularly excited about this gift to Banner,” says Alex Taylor, Executive Vice President of Cox Enterprises and great-grandson of the company’s founder. “Our family has always believed in getting involved in the communities where we do business. Through this gift, thousands of our customers, employees and others will receive world-class health care, and that’s worth more than I could ever say.”
J. Stephen Rizley, senior vice president and general manager of Cox Communications in the Southwest region, was a leader of the campaign to raise philanthropic support for Banner MD Anderson and helped secure the grant from the James M. Cox Foundation. He considers it part of his job to be a custodian of the Cox legacy in Arizona.
“Cox wishes to associate its name with efforts that will bless lives, build communities and foster economic development,” says Rizley. “I believe that is attainable here at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center.”