Longtime University of Iowa Jeff Cox, 72, championed candidates and his kidsHistorians in the News
When paired with a packed Prairie Lights reading of Sanders’ book after the reception, followed by a town hall on the University of Iowa campus, Tom Carsner agreed that likely was a pivotal day for Sanders.
“That was the first public trip he made to Iowa in 2015,” said Carsner, another of Cox’s longtime friends. “I think it certainly confirmed to him that someone should challenge Hillary Clinton, and that he would be a legitimate challenger.”
Cox, who died unexpectedly in his home early Sunday at age 72, proved a convincing force for his convictions over the years — and he had a lot of them.
In addition to his longtime position as tenured professor of British social, imperial and religious history at the University of Iowa — where he also served in leadership positions including chair of the History Department and president of the Faculty Senate — Cox was widely involved in the community.
He served as chair of the Johnson County Democratic Party; was involved with Progressive Democrats of America; recruited candidates for local, state and national office; and became a vocal advocate on a range of issues — pushing UI and Iowa City leaders, for example, to treat student alcohol abuse as a health issue rather than a criminal one.
Many across the community will remember Cox for his tireless political activism and commitment to brash candor. For more than 30 years, he coedited a community newsletter, The Prairie Progressive, and just recently was asked to write about the Iowa caucuses for The Nation, a progressive political publication. His first piece was published there this week.
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