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Heiress and philanthropist Anne Cox Chambers

Anne Cox Chambers (1919–2020), media heiress and former ambassador

by Linnea Crowther

Anne Cox Chambers was a media heiress and philanthropist who was U.S. ambassador to Belgium during Jimmy Carter’s presidency. The daughter of former Ohio governor and one-time presidential candidate James Middleton Cox, she was heiress to the family business, Cox Enterprises, which includes cable provider Cox Communications, Kelley Blue Book, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Chambers was a major donor to Carter’s presidential campaign and supported other Democrats including President Barack Obama. A billionaire before giving much of her fortune to her children in recent years, Chambers was a noted Atlanta philanthropist with beneficiaries including the High Museum of Art, the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum, and local animal welfare organizations. She was one of the first women to sit on the boards of companies including Coca-Cola.

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Died: January 31, 2020 (Who else died on January 31?)


Details of death: Died at the age of 100.

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Hands-on Democratic supporter: Though Chambers was a notoriously private person, she broke out of that shell to campaign for the politicians she believed in. She went door-to-door for Carter, as well as traveling to swing states to spread the word about her candidate. She did the same when John Kerry ran for president in 2004.

Chambers on when she was happiest: “Well, I guess working in the garden with all the dogs running around!” —from a 2011 interview with Atlanta magazine

What people said about her: “Rosalynn joins me in sharing our condolences to the extended family and friends of Anne Cox Chambers. Ambassador Chambers was an important par of our lives for over six decades. Her path serves as a path for fairness and equality for everyone and especially for women and girls. Atlanta, our State of George, and the world has lost a wonderful woman, business leader, and philanthropist. Rosalynn and I are grateful to have been among those whose lives were so richly touched by her.” —President Jimmy Carter

“Georgia has lost one of her most admirable heroines. Anne Cox Chambers set such an example in the business and philanthropic communities. As a nonprofit executive, I know the indelible and important marks she left in the arts and education sectors. RIP” —former Atlanta City Council member Alex Wan

Full obituary: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Related lives:

  • Maynard Jackson (1938 – 2003), Atlanta’s first black mayor
  • Georgia Frontiere (1927 – 2008), one of the first female NFL owners
  • Pegi Young (1952 – 2018), musician, philanthropist, Neil Young’s former wife

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