Former Wilkes University history professor Harold Cox dies at age 90

A true Renaissance man, his passion extends from politics and creative writing to trolley and LGBTQ rights.

If there was always an image of Wilkes-Barre-Harold E. Cox and history being inextricably linked, it would definitely be during the Veterans Day ceremony at Wilkes University Quad on November 11, 2016. happened.

Cox stood in his vintage headquarters as the speakers praised the virtues and importance of the people who took turns in the army. Major uniform for all words.

At the age of 85, the then honorary professor of history looked frail but proud, sat down a bit on the curve of his back, leaned out as a hungry GI on the battlefield, and his clothes were put on the media after the last note. Accepted the attention that was attracted. The number of taps played from the trumpet. The elegy melody was the only time he decided to end his worship, and shed tears as the dull sound drifted through the clear blue days.

At that point, Cox answered the question with a smile to deal with Alzheimer’s disease. Asked what it means to see people gather to honor him and other veterans, he simply replied, “I can’t explain it.”

Born in Lynchburg, Virginia in 1931. Cox died on September 8th at the age of 90Thanks to a long relationship with Wilkes, who worked for 52 years, he left a lasting legacy in the area.

His military record goes back further. He served in the US Army from 1954 to 1956 and chose to remain in the US Army Reserve for the next 30 years. The fact that he kept the uniform in the form of a parade presentation for a long time and fitted it well in 2016 may be enough to show his commitment to service.

Career at Wilkes University

The peak of his college career came in June 2015, when the school dedicated and named the building in honor of him, at least in the public eye. During the ceremony, then-President Patrick Leahy talked about what it was like.

Cox argued that he had a reputation for advising the university president for decades, whether or not the university president welcomed it, and Mr. Leahy welcomed it. So when Cox stopped by the chat again, it wasn’t a surprise — at least not at first.

“Harold appeared in my office a few years ago with a $ 165,000 check and said,’I want you to have this,'” Leahy recalled. “I said,’What a hell, Harold, flattery!'” He said, “It’s not for you.”

Cox wanted to pay to re-instruct bricks, replace windows and doors, and otherwise clean up the South River Street building, which has been a bit rustic for decades. Cox was interested in the venerable structure when the university began using it to house the office of a master’s degree program in creative writing.

How did a professor of history lead to creative writing? With the same building dedication, the program director praised Cox’s involvement since its inception 10 years ago and learned that many students have learned the vital importance of tracking primary sources from Cox. I pointed out.

But his influence goes even further. Cox has become an informal archivist at the university. When someone asked about the history of a particularly ambiguous part of the campus’s characteristics, he became a reliable man. His expertise in all of Wilkes gave him the honor given before the baptism of Harold Cox Hall. A year ago, the school named the university archive room after him.

In 2005, the university speech team hosted a forensic tournament named after Cox. In 2004, Times Leader performed a function on a project that Cox, then 73, had been working on for eight years. The Wilkes University Election Statistics Project is a website aimed at providing everything you want to know about major political races in Pennsylvania since 1789.

The project was born out of a 1996 incident in which Cox approached a university consortium collecting similar statistics and demanded 19th-century election records. They told him the data was there, but it would cost more than a fortune to access it. Furious, he set out to create his own version, available online for free.

Supporting gay rights

Cox was not ashamed of the controversy when the issue was important to him, especially when he presented a clear lesson in which history seemed to be ignored. In 1994, a series of anti-homosexual incidents struck the university. The Wilkes-Barre city council considered a proposal to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and voted against it. Students held a public rally calling for the end of the hate message displayed on campus and a more open attitude towards the gay and lesbian communities.

Cox was there and immediately commented that he had seen two men having sex in a city park about the controversial reaction of then-city councilman Al Boris to the claims of Kingston residents. The Times leader hinted at homosexuals, reporting that Boris said, “I should shoot half anyway.”

“If Al Boris had advocated killing half the Jews, or half the Democrats, would he still be in office?” Cox asked. “Is he still in town?”

Longtime trolley historian

Even in 2019, Cox has shown a lifelong interest in learning and a lifelong interest in trolley cars. Little known here, but well known among railroad historians and enthusiasts.

At the age of 88 He invited Wilkes-Barre’s last known trolley car to Bout Studio. Swoyersville, The place where it was restored. The Times Leader’s story about the visit pointed out that the long-standing fascination of history professors with trolleys was probably not surprising.

In his book, Cox wrote “Wyoming Valley Trolley” in 1988, recording a tram system based in Wilkes-Barre and extending truck tentacles to Nanticoke, Pittston, and Lackawanna County. .. His railroad writings also included some important reference books on the development of Philadelphia’s tram system.

Self-respecting humor

Cox can be angry, self-respecting, and eccentric. Qualities exhibited during Dr. Harold Cox’s dedication hole.. When it was his turn to speak, he was dull and smiling when he admitted his first anxiety about stepping on the podium, especially after all the praise from Lee Hee. “What he didn’t tell you is that I have Alzheimer’s disease.”

When the university surprised him with a cake and a small party on the porch behind the building, all the guests sang “Happy Birthday”. A distorted sense of humor. “

The walk from the dedication ceremony in front of the building to the party behind took a long time for simple reasons: people kept stopping Cox to build up praise:

“Now you will always be with us.”

“Do you still hug me when you’re famous?”

“You are effectively royalty.”

He then revealed which part of the honor was most important. When asked if he liked to get a building named after him, he shrugged a little and said, “It’s not a big deal.” But when asked about how he liked all the attention at the birthday party, he offered a broad smile.

“How nice.”

According to his obituary, Cox has survived by his spouse Robert Wright and Excelter’s son Michael.

The funeral is private and convenient for the family. The burial will take place at Spring Hill Cemetery in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Former Wilkes University history professor Harold Cox dies at age 90

Source link Former Wilkes University history professor Harold Cox dies at age 90

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