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Archibald Cox

From Academic Kids

Archibald Cox, Jr., (May 12, 1912May 29, 2004), a native of Plainfield, New Jersey, and son of Archibald and Frances Perkins Cox, was an American lawyer who served as United States Solicitor General under President John F. Kennedy, but was best known as the first special prosecutor for the "Watergate Scandal."

Cox graduated from Harvard Law School in 1937, and joined the Boston law firm of Ropes, Gray, Best, Coolidge and Rugg. During World War II, he was appointed to the National Defense Board, and then to the Office of the Solicitor General.

After the war ended, Cox joined the faculty at Harvard Law School. At Harvard, he taught courses in torts and in administrative, constitutional, and labor law. During that time, he also became an adviser and speech-writer for John F. Kennedy, who was at that time U.S. senator from Massachusetts. In 1961, Cox joined the new Kennedy administration as solicitor general. In 1965, he returned to the law school.

In May 1973, Cox again took a leave from Harvard to accept appointment as the first special prosecutor in what was to become known as the "Watergate Scandal." On October 20, 1973, in an event termed the Saturday Night Massacre, U.S. President Richard Nixon ordered that Cox be fired as Watergate scandal special prosecutor, upon Cox's insistence on obtaining secret White House tapes. Rather than comply with this order, both Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus resigned. The order was ultimately carried out by the Solicitor General, Robert Bork. Upon being fired, Cox stated simply: "Whether ours shall be a government of laws and not of men is now for Congress and ultimately the American people".

The firing of Cox illustrated the need for independent counsels — prosecutors specifically appointed to investigate official misconduct. After Nixon's resignation, Cox became chairman of Common Cause, and was made an honorary member of the Order of the Coif in 1991.

Cox died at his home in Brooksville, Maine of natural causes on the same day as Sam Dash, chief counsel to the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate scandal.

The New York times wrote in his obituary: "A gaunt 6-footer who wore three-piece suits, Mr. Cox was often described as 'ramrod straight,' not only because of his bearing but also because of his personality.'

Cox was the great-grandson of William M. Evarts who defended President Andrew Johnson during his impeachment hearing and became Secretary of State in the Hayes administration. Courteney Cox, who played Monica Geller in the popular sitcom Friends is the daughter of Cox.

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ja:アーチボルド・コックス sv:Archibald Cox

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