James M. Cox

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James Middleton Cox (March 31, 1870 – July 15, 1957) was the 46th and 48th 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.

While a reporter, Cox once went to a town where a massive railroad accident had occurred. Other reporters went directly to the scene of the accident, but Cox instead went to the town's only telegraph office, where he hired the telegraph operator to begin transmitting the Bible to his newspaper, telling the operator he would be back. (Under the law of the day, once a message was begun, it could not be interrupted by others.) Cox then went to the accident site, gathered all the information he needed, and wrote his article. He then returned to the telegraph office, which he found full of frustrated reporters waiting to make use of the telegraph. Cox handed his article to the telegraph operator and thus scooped all of the other reporters.[citation needed]

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). A capable and well-liked reformer, 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, Cox was defeated in the 1920 Presidential Election by a fellow Ohioan and newspaper man, U.S. Senator Warren G. Harding of Marion. The public had grown weary of the turmoil of the Wilson years, and eagerly accepted Harding's call for a "return to normalcy." Cox's running mate was future president, then-Assistant Secretary of the Navy 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 [1] 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." The "James M. Cox Dayton International Airport", more commonly referenced simply as Dayton International Airport, was named for Cox as well.

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