At a Glance
- Career History:
Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (since 2005);
U.S. Representative (1988 to 2005); Senior associate counsel to
President Reagan, White House (1986 to 1988)
Oct. 16, 1952
St. Paul, Minn.
- Alma Mater:
University of Southern California, B.A., 1973; MBA and J.D. from
- DC Office:
100 F St. NE, 202-551-2600
- Web site
Path to Power
Cox was born Oct. 16, 1952, in St. Paul, Minn., and grew up with
four sisters in the upper-middle-class suburb of Highland Park. His
father ran the family printing business. He attended a Catholic
military academy and did not initially show a penchant for politics.
Rather than run for student council in high school, Cox swam and
edited the school yearbook.
Cox's younger sister, Lolly, was accidentally killed when his
father hit her with the family's station wagon in their driveway. He
later cited the incident in a Fortune magazine profile as a reason
for his personal resilience.
Cox is considered a moderate Republican, and he has the
Congressional voting record to prove it. He's pro-life but voted
against a constitutional ban on same-sex marriages in 2004. He has
voted with the Bush administration's national energy policy,
supported gun rights and largely supported free-trade agreements.
Cox was known for his ability to reach across the aisle while on
Capitol Hill. He worked closely with three Democrats during his
tenure: Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (N.J.), Rep. Barney Frank (Mass.)
and Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.).
He considers one of his closest friends to be economist Arthur
Laffer, one of the founders of modern supply-side economics and a
former Reagan aide who popularized the Laffer curve, -which showed
that tax increases do not necessarily translate into increased tax
Not surprisingly, Cox counted lawyers and law firms among his
biggest campaign contributors over the course of his congressional
career. Real estate firms and securities and investment companies
also heavily donated to Cox's campaigns. His old law firm, Latham
& Watkins, was by far Cox's biggest contributor, followed by
Fluor Corp. and the American Medical Association.