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Jack Cox (01/27/1934 - 03/06/2011)


Jack Cox, EAA Lifetime 14286, who influenced generations of aviators as the long-time editor-in-chief of EAA Sport Aviation magazine, passed away Sunday, March 6, 2011.

Jack was born in Seagrove, North Carolina in January 1934 and grew up enamored with aviation, building model airplanes and reading everything available on aviation. The first, of many, airplane rides he recalled was in a Ford Tri Motor at Asheboro in the late 1930s. Jack began taking flight instruction and soloed a J-3 Cub at Air Harbor in Greensboro, North Carolina, in April 1956. Following a tour of active duty in the U.S. Navy, Jack returned to North Carolina and met Golda in the summer of 1958. They were married the following December.

Jack joined EAA in December 1961 and later EAA Vintage Aircraft Association Chapter 3 and became an active participant in its activities, with Jack becoming the newsletter editor in June 1966. It was through their efforts on the newsletter that Jack and Golda came to the attention of EAA President Paul Poberezny. In 1968 Jack was made a member of the EAA’s antique airplane judging committee at Rockford, and the following year he served as chairman of that committee. In that capacity, he led the first effort to formalize judging standards and set up permanent vintage aircraft judging categories for EAA.

Jack joined the EAA staff in 1970 at the invitation of Paul Poberezny. In 1972, Jack was named editor-in-chief of Sport Aviation, a position he held until his retirement in 1999. During his tenure, Golda was his partner on the magazine serving in the role of managing editor.

Jack was instrumental in the formation of EAA’s Antique/Classic Division (EAA Vintage Airplane Association), which included his new Classic category for post-war aircraft, then the largest unaffiliated entity in aviation. Jack created the Division’s new monthly publication, The Vintage Airplane, and served as its first editor. In 1981 Jack and Golda began publishing Sportsman Pilot, a quarterly aviation magazine that again permitted them to travel and meet people of their interests. This publication continued until his passing.

Jack was known as “the” spokesman for the homebuilt aircraft and sport aviation communities. His articles and features highlighted the remarkable growth and innovation of amateur-built for three decades. As a private pilot, Jack logged more than 3,350 flying hours in a total of 137 different makes and models of aircraft.

Jack was the recipient of many awards, among them induction into the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association Hall of Fame and the EAA Homebuilder’s Hall of Fame. In 1986 he received a prestigious award from the Aviation/Space Writers Association for his article on the around-the-world flight of the Voyager.

Upon retirement, Jack and Golda returned to Asheboro and remained active in aviation. Jack was a lifetime member of EAA, a member of AOPA, a director of the EAA/VAA Chapter 3, and a member of the Asheboro Airport Authority. He was also a member of the voting panel of the Motorsports Hall of Fame.


Guestbook

3/7/2011 11:47:54 AM
I think when they were passing out egos, Jack Cox was nowhere to be found. He’d probably gone back for a second helping to another line marked “Enthusiasm and Love of All Things that Fly.” And along the way, he’d also loaded up his shopping cart with deep appreciation for airplane people, and their stories. All of them.
We were all privileged that Jack wrote thousands of those stories, and he always incorporated just the right balance of intriguing technical know-how, historical perspective and a little-kid amazement that was contagious. All his readers became infected and were much the better for it.
Watching Jack interview someone was a treat. With his honeysuckle-smooth Carolina drawl, he’d ask just the right question to prime the pump, then sit back, legs crossed – and listen. He’d smile and nod slowly, quietly repeating “Mmm hmm,” over and over to ensure the wellspring of information kept flowing. And he treated everyone he interviewed the same – whether it was Burt Rutan or someone who’d flown in off the farm, who had cobbled and bolted together his own crude impression of a personal airplane in his garage, basement or backyard shed. Jack assured them all he was interested in their airplanes, and their stories, and he would write them in a way that made us all interested, too.
The aviation world is going to miss his knowledge, and his smile.
Submitted by: Mark Phelps 139610
3/7/2011 4:02:47 PM
HI Golda,
It's been many years since I talked or saw either of you. You and Jack were great supporters of our effort on the Small Airplane Compliance Program that helped bring GA back.
My condolences....He will be greatly missed. All the best to you in this difficult time. Tim Smyth, Senior Engineer, Propulsion, Chicago ACO, FAA
Submitted by: Tim Smyth EAA90302
3/8/2011 6:59:53 AM
When one met, or worked with, Golda, one also met Jack. They were virtually inseperable at work and in life. As a fellow writer/reporter, I learned so much about aviation from what Jack wrote. The thing I remember most about Jack is how quiet he always was, never calling attention to himself. That's what made him so special. In no way was he an egomaniac. He did his job, he liked his job and let his job (writing)define him. Jack and Golda were not only side by side in marriage, but also at work. In the nearly 40 years I've had the privilege to know them, I never heard a harsh word between them. They're special people, and they were (pardon this) one helluva team! My prayers will include them both. I will always treasure and appreciate how they treated me and my family, especially my son. Happy Landing Jack, and may you rest in peace. To Golda, you are in our thoughts and prayers.
Submitted by Jerry &, Mary Burke, and son Kristopher.
Submitted by: Jerry Burke 365400
3/8/2011 9:14:12 PM
I knew Jack and Golda thru Sport Aviation Magazine and Sport Pilot Magazine for many years before they interviewed Claudette and me about our lives and aircraft projects. It was one of the highlights of our involvement in aviation to meet them and feel their interest in us.
Submitted by: Steve Colwell 211530
3/9/2011 9:15:01 AM
Thank you Jack and Golda for your tireless efforts at promoting air racing. No one covered Reno in depth like you did in Sportsman Pilot. Thank you for supporting our Team for so many years. Your influence goes beyond what you can imagine. Rest in peace, Jack. Golda, hang in there.
Submitted by: Steve Hill 436448
3/9/2011 4:52:24 PM
My condolences to Golda and the Cox family. I never met Jack, but I knew him through his work on Sport Aviation. Thank You Jack!
Submitted by: Clarke Tate 596116
3/10/2011 9:22:25 AM
I met Jack and Golda on my first trip to Oshkosh in 1987.
Jack was truly one of the great promoters of EAA and all of aviation.
He will be missed.
Submitted by: Rich Gritter
3/10/2011 10:41:08 AM
Golda, So sorry to hear about Jack. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs,Steph
Submitted by: Stephanie Brown 318813
3/10/2011 12:25:00 PM
Golda, I had the absolute pleasure of meeting you and Jack a couple of years ago at Oshkosh. As a Brit, it was great to have the chance to tell you both personally how much pleasure your articles gave me over the years - I've no doubt hundreds of thousands of people around the world feel the same. It's fantastic that your many EAA articles and photos are now available online - a fitting legacy to a truly legendary aviation enthusiast who inspired a generation with his wonderful words and pictures...Very best wishes to you and the family.
Submitted by: Paul Kiddell 371838
3/10/2011 6:44:46 PM
Golda,
I remember seeing you and Jack at Chapter 3 functions, but I don't think we were ever introduced. I lost my husband, Pat McAlee, in November of 2010. He was a Chapter 3 member and had great respect for you and Jack. I am so sorry for your loss.
Submitted by: Cathy McAlee
3/10/2011 6:54:19 PM
What a service Jack and Golda have done for this organization! Jack Cox defined Sport Aviation Magazine, and in so doing became the Point of Contact of EAA and its members. His articles were always filled with the sort of details that homebuilders and enthusiasts craved, written with crystal clarity. I consider Jack Cox to have been one of the best writers, period, I have ever read. He can never be equalled. EAA has lost a very close friend.
Submitted by: Chris Kinnaman 36270
3/10/2011 8:10:07 PM
I subscribed to Sportsman Pilot for decades because 1) Jack Cox wrote with remarkable passion, technical detail, and thorough historical accuracy and 2) he had the most complete and detailed coverage of the Reno Air races you could find, and 3) It was the best value in avaiation publication. Thank you and farewell, Jack Cox.

Tom Fey
Submitted by: Tom Fey 235287
3/10/2011 9:05:25 PM
I have had the pleasure of writing back and forth with Jack over the past year. He wrote more articles on my Grandfather, John Sandberg and his experimental race plane Tsunami than any other Journalist. My Grandpa was in a fatal crash when I was six and without Jack's editorials I would know little about him or his accomplishments. It is through his kind words and stories that I will always hold his memories. Thank you for everything you have done for this incredible sport. Your words are truly an inspiration.
Submitted by: John Bjornstad 302415
3/10/2011 9:16:54 PM
I always read every article that Jack wrote in Sport Aviation and was a long time subscriber to Sportsman Pilot. Superb writer and true gentleman that will be sorely missed by so many.

God rest his soul and my deepest condolences to Golda and family.
Submitted by: Mark Schemm 82540 Lifetime
3/10/2011 9:39:19 PM
Golda. The world will be a little darker with the loss of our good friend Jack. He was always the #1 person I wanted to see when I came to Air Venture. He wrote some wonderful articles about the airplanes I flew (loving's Love/deHavilland Comet) and was always very generous with comments about my shaky flying skills. I will miss him dearly. God bless.
Submitted by: Pat Halloran 2879
3/10/2011 11:50:21 PM
My deepest sympathies go out to Golda and all of Jacks' family. I am honored that my aircraft were featured in Jack and Goldas publication Sportsman Pilot as I am sure are many others too numerous to count. I valued Jack and still Golda as personal friends and as I fight back a tear try to find apropriate words to honor his life and work. I have only known them for a few years as a late commer to EAA Chapter 3 but long enough to become friends and admire thier work and dedication to all things aviation. Jack even expressed an interest in possibly buying my highly modified PA 15 at one time but I couldnt part with it. Jack, you will be missed by many, thought of often by many and loved by all. God's speed.
Submitted by: Frank E Moore 796484
3/10/2011 11:51:08 PM
My son, Tony Jr., and I were priviledged to get to know Jack and Golda through vintage aircraft activities and Reno air racing. We also shared a common friendship with Ken and Marie Brock. For my money, the EAA Sport Aviation magazine has not been as good since Jack and Golda left it. Sportsman Pilot has been my favorite magazine for the last thirty years. How I will miss Jack! Golda, Tony Jr. and I love you! Tony Wright SR.
Submitted by: Tony Wright
3/11/2011 12:44:13 AM
My condolences to Golda. We've lost a true gentleman and a great historian. He will be missed.
Submitted by: Walte Kahn 9912
3/11/2011 12:47:15 AM
I will miss reading the perfect articles that Jack Cox wrote in Sport Aviation, and in his own publication, Sport Pilot. There are other good aviation writers, but none write so satisfyingly for me as Jack Cox. He seemed always to know just what would be of most interest to his readers, never missing the hearts of the stories. My son and I happened upon him at the Oshkosh convention a few years ago, and we were privileged to meet and chat with him briefly. What a fine gentleman. My deep sympathy to Golda - his life's partner, and the rest of his family.
Submitted by: lawrence sciortino 97623
3/11/2011 7:00:13 AM
Jack, you are a true gentleman who always found time to talk and share life with. We will miss you!
Submitted by: David Juckem 135899
3/11/2011 7:02:15 AM
Never in my life have i met a finer couple than Jack, And Golda Cox. Jack will be sorely missed.Ben Marion/Cardinal Air , Asheboro, N.C.
Submitted by: Ben Marion N/A
3/11/2011 8:43:48 AM
Jack was the very essence of North Carolina aviation. We will miss him terribly.
Submitted by: Jerry Gable 718170
3/11/2011 10:43:41 AM
I had my first dual in 1938 and was medically grounded after 70 years and 160 different civil and military aircraft.The arrival of Sport Aviation has been a bright spot in my life. I consider Jack Cox to have been the number one aviation writer and I feel like I have lost a dear friend.
Submitted by: Bud Walker 37408
3/11/2011 3:00:17 PM
Jack Cox brought a great many gifts to us all. As a man and a professional, his character and accomplishments enriched us in ways beyond a shared love of airplanes and grassroots aviation. Newcomers to the EAA cannot know the degree to which Jack contributed to the success and growth of the EAA. In this work over the decades, you could always tell that Jack respected greatly the sacrifice, devotion and accomplishments of others. He often showed with these profiles how dedicated work over the years by an ordinary man or woman produced extraordinary accomplishments. Even when Jack wrote of a problem or obstacle to grassroots aviation, he could do it in a positive manner. It is clear a large measure of the EAA's success was due to the work and character of Jack Cox. And always Jack the person and the communicator were indistinguishable-a gentleman to the core with goodness and class. Jack and Golda were an inseparable team. To both Jack and Golda we owe and feel much more than we can ever express.
Submitted by: Steve Beckham 247244
3/12/2011 2:15:44 PM
Blue skies forever, Jack.
Submitted by: Richard Harding 679145
3/25/2011 5:42:04 PM
Golda - Obviously we heard about Jack's death after our last note to you. Words can't convey feelings at a time like this. We are with you.
Submitted by: Doc and Dee Mosher 16741
4/6/2011 5:20:31 PM
We (Tom and Janet) only have the highest respect and fond memories of Jack and Golda when they would come by our shop for a chat while getting the aircraft maintained. Such a wonderful couple who lived and breathed the love of aviation. Jack will be missed for his gentlemanly ways, his kind words, and wealth of information. The sunset on the horizon only leads to a golden peace! May your spirit fly free forever, Jack!
Submitted by: Tom Malechuk 712573
4/6/2011 8:44:56 PM
Never a better article written in Sport Aviation than by Jack. I was sad to hear the news of his passing and will miss his great writtings.
Submitted by: Tom Gibbons 186879
4/25/2011 10:45:29 PM
Jack loved Monocoupes and always attended the Monocoupe reunion he wiil truly be missed,what a guy
Submitted by: Frank Colton 84571