Born December 1, 1883, in Raleigh, North Carolina. Cox an attorney, state legislator, and jurist who embarked on a military career during World War I. In July 1917, Cox resigned from his superior court judgeship after serving only seven months to accept an appointment as colonel of the state's mobilizing artillery force, which unit was eventually designated as the 113th Field Artillery. With his men, Cox deployed to the war zone and served in active combat until the armistice. His notable leadership garnered him a Distinguished Service Medal. His military service continued up through World War II until his retirement in 1949, having attained the rank of major general.