Special Collections of the ODU Libraries

Lawrence M. Cox, Sr. Papers, 1902-2002, undated | Special Collections and University Archives

By Mel Frizzell, Tonia Graves, Jan Halecki, Kathleen Smith, Sonia Yaco, Mona Farrow

Collection Overview

Title: Lawrence M. Cox, Sr. Papers, 1902-2002, undated

ID: 00/MG 38

Primary Creator: Cox, Lawrence Morgan, Sr. (1912-2002)

Extent: 116.4 Linear Feet. More info below.

Arrangement:

Series I: Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority, 1940-1969

Sub-series A: Appointment Books and Calendars. This sub-series contains Mr. Cox’s appointment books and calendars from 1950 to 1968. Material is arranged chronologically. The only exception is that the appointment books in the last box of the series were separated from the other material. This was done because these appointment books were too thick to place in folders.

Sub-series B: Cities, Other than Norfolk. This sub-series contains information about the Housing Authorities and the housing and redevelopment plans and projects in cities other than Norfolk, VA. Material dates from 1941 to 1968, and is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series C: Civic Affairs/Community Involvement. This sub-series contains information about civic affairs Mr. Cox was involved with as part of the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority. Material dates from 1947 to 1969, and is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series D: Codes, Zoning, and Ordinances. This sub-series contains material related to Norfolk City housing codes, zoning ordinances, and general housing policies. Additional material includes correspondence related to joint Norfolk City and NRHA ventures and cooperation. Material dates from 1950 to 1969.  This section is arranged alphabetically by topic.

Sub-series E: Conferences. This sub-series contains material related to conferences Mr. Cox attended during his time with the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority. Most of these related to housing, redevelopment, and urban policy. Material dates from 1937 to 1969. Material is arranged alphabetically and then by date. Additional material on conferences may be found in the sub-series on Professional and Affiliated Organizations within the material on the hosting organization.

Sub-series F: Construction. This sub-series contains material related to construction. Included is information on architects, realtors, construction companies, construction supplies, specific kinds of buildings, and other similar materials. Material is dated from 1940 to 1968 and is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series G: Correspondence and Mailing Lists. This sub-series contains letters, cards, invitations, notes, and other correspondence during Mr. Cox’s time with the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority. Also included are mailing and address lists, as well as business cards. Material dates from 1940 to 1968. Material is arranged alphabetically and then by date.

Sub-series H: Historic Preservation. This sub-series contains information related to a National Trust for historical preservation, the Norfolk Historical Society, the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, and similar papers on historic preservation. Material dates from 1965 to 1968, and is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series I: International Consulting/Conferences. This sub-series contains material related to Mr. Cox’s international consulting efforts and international conferences he attended.  Material dates from 1949 to 1972 and is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series J: Kaufman, Charles L. This sub-series relates to Charles L. Kaufman and his role as chairman of the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority. Material is dated from 1942 to 1966 and is arranged chronologically. Additional material related to Mr. Kaufman may be found in the sub-series on Projects, Programs, and Studies.

Sub-series K: Labor/Contracts. This sub-series contains material related to labor and equipment contracts between the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority and other companies. Material dates from 1940 to 1946. Material is arranged alphabetically by topic, and then by date within each topic.

Sub-series L: Legal. This sub-series contains legal advice and counsel to the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority and court cases involving the NRHA.  This section also contains real estate contracts and agreements between the NRHA and other entities. Material dates from 1940 to 1964. This section is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series M: Legislation, Federal Housing. This sub-series contains material related to Federal housing legislation and National housing acts. Material dates from 1940 to 1969. Material is arranged alphabetically by topic, and then by date. Additional material on the Wagner Ellender Taft Bill can be found under the series of Professional and Affiliated Organizations with the material on the National Public Housing Conference.

Sub-series N: Legislation, State Housing.  This sub-series contains material related to Virginia housing code and legislation. Material dates from 1962 to1968.  Material is arranged alphabetically by topic, and then by date.

Sub-series O: News clippings. This sub-series contains newspaper and magazine clippings from Mr. Cox’s time with the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority. Topics include general housing and redevelopment articles, articles related to the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority, and articles about Mr. Cox and other NRHA officials. Material dates from 1939 to 1969. Material is arranged chronologically.

Sub-series P: NRHA History. This sub-series details the history of the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority and its activities mainly from 1935 to 1969.  This section also includes Norfolk history as it relates to NRHA activities and redevelopment concerns. While most of the material stops at 1969, one folder does contain information on the history of Norfolk Downtown Revitalization up to 1989.

Sub-series Q: Office Related. This sub-series contains material related to general office matters at the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority. Included are: furniture and equipment brochures; office memos and “while you were out” messages; office policies; and office inventories. Material dates from 1937 to 1969. Material is arranged alphabetically by topic, and then by date.

Sub-series R: Organizations, Professional and Affiliated Organizations. This sub-series contains material related to various professional, business, and housing organizations that Mr. Cox was involved with during his time with the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority. Material dates from 1938 to 1971. Material is arranged alphabetically by organization name and then by date within each organization. Additional material on organizations may be found in the sub-series on Conferences.

Sub-series S: Personal Files of Lawrence M. Cox. This sub-series contains Mr. Cox’s personal NRHA files on various topics, persons, and projects. Included are materials Cox wanted to “Keep Handy” including professional business documents, correspondence, charts, and invitations. Additionally, there is some material related to Mr. Cox’s personal and civic involvements. This includes material on the Princess Anne Country Club, Virginia Club, Norfolk Rotary Club, Norfolk, Yacht and Country Club, Golden Horseshoe Club, and various other clubs and organizations. Material dates from 1933 to 1968 and is arranged chronologically.

Sub-series T: Personnel. This sub-series includes NRHA policies and procedures, insurance information, position descriptions, resumes and biographies, and other personnel information for the NRHA.  Material dates from 1940 to 1968, and is arranged alphabetically by topic.

Sub-series U: Professional Material, Lawrence M. Cox. This sub-series contains various materials related to Mr. Cox’s professional life.  Included are resumes, biographies, awards, and membership certificates to various professional organizations. Material dates from 1936 to 1969, and is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series V: Projects, Programs, and Studies. This sub-series contains information on projects, programs, and studies carried out by the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority. Included is information on low-income housing projects, war housing during World War II, slum clearance, downtown revitalization, the U.S. Model City Program, the Norfolk General Hospital and Norfolk Medical College, the Norfolk Industrial Park, the Norfolk Cultural and Convention Center (the Scope), and other projects, programs, and studies of the NRHA. Material in this section dates from 1935 to 1978. Subjects are arranged alphabetically by project name and then chronologically within each subject.

Sub-series W: Publications. This sub-series contains books, magazines, reports and studies made into booklets, brochures and other publications related to redevelopment and housing, business, Virginia, Norfolk, and other cities. Additionally, there are some clippings from magazines. Material dates from 1940 to 1969. Publications are arranged alphabetically by title, and then by date as necessary.

Sub-series X: Speeches. This sub-series contains copies of speeches made by Mr. Cox and others related on redevelopment and housing issues. Material dates from 1943 to 1969 and is arranged chronologically.

Sub-series Y: Miscellaneous. This sub-series contains miscellaneous material from Mr. Cox’s time with NRHA.

Series II: Housing and Urban Development, 1969-1992, undated

Sub-series A: Appointment to Assistant Secretary. This sub-series contains information about Cox’s appointment to Assistant Secretary for renewal and housing assistance at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on February 26, 1969 and a Testimonial Luncheon held in his honor when he retired from the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority to accept the position. Additional material on this topic may be found in the sub-series containing news clippings.

Sub-series B: Appointment Books and Calendars.

Sub-series C: Civic Affairs. This section contains information on clubs, civic organizations, and civic affairs that Cox was involved in during 1969 and 1970.

Sub-series D: Conferences and Meetings. This sub-series contains information about conferences and meetings that Cox went to while serving at HUD. Material is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series E: Correspondence and Contact Lists. This sub-series contains correspondence and contact lists that Cox kept while serving at HUD. This section is arranged chronologically.

Sub-series F: International. This sub-series contains material related to international projects Cox was involved with during his time at HUD. Material is arranged alphabetically. Material is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series G: Investigation and Resignation. This sub-series contains information about an accusation made by William Gordon Dillon of the “Virginia Observer” in 1969 and 1970 that Cox misused public funds while working for the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority.  This led to an FBI investigation.  Cox was eventually cleared of all charges, but was censured for misjudgment. Cox resigned from HUD about this time, but denied that his reasons were connected with the investigation.  Material in this sub-series relates to the investigation and Cox’s resignation from HUD. Additional material on these topics may be found in the sub-series containing news clippings.

Sub-series H: News Clippings. This sub-series includes news clippings on Cox’s appointment to HUD, the conflict of interest investigation and Cox’s resignation from HUD, general clippings about HUD, and news from Norfolk in 1969 and 1970.

Sub-series I: Office Related. Related. This sub-series contains office-related material from Cox’s time at HUD. Material is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series J: Organizations. This sub-series contains information about organizations Cox was involved with while working for HUD. Material is arranged alphabetically by organization name.

Sub-series K: Personal Files of Lawrence M. Cox. This sub-series contains Mr. Cox’s personal files on various topics, persons, and projects while he worked for HUD.

Sub-series L: Professional Material, Lawrence M. Cox. This sub-series contains professional a bio and history for Cox and bios for others at HUD during this time.

Sub-series M: Projects. This sub-series contains information on projects Cox was involved with while working for HUD. It includes material on rebuilding communities destroyed by natural disasters and civil disorder, as well as information on bond sales and open communities. Material is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series N: Publications. This sub-series contains housing magazines and publications from 1969 and 1970, as well as the HUD News newsletter from this time

Sub-series O: Speeches. This sub-series contains speeches by Cox and others from his time at HUD. This section is arranged chronologically.

Series III: Consulting, 1970-1998, undated

Sub-series A: Appointment Books and Calendars. This sub-series contains Cox’s appointment books and calendars for 1971 to 1984, and is arranged chronologically.

Sub-series B: Conferences. This sub-series contains material related to conferences Mr. Cox attended from the 1970s through the 1990s. Most of these related to housing, redevelopment, and urban policy. Material dates from 1970 to 1998. Material is arranged alphabetically and then by date. Additional material on conferences may be found in the sub-series on Organizations within the material on the hosting organization.

Sub-series C: Correspondence and Contact Lists. This sub-series contains Cox’s business correspondence and contact lists from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Material is arranged chronologically.

Sub-series D: International Consulting/Conferences. This sub-series contains material related to Mr. Cox’s international consulting efforts and international conferences he attended in the early 1970s, and some material might overlap with his position at HUD. Material is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series E: Legal/Contracts. This section contains material related to legal advice given to Cox, and legal contracts from Cox’s time as a Real Estate Counselor. Material is arranged alphabetically, and focuses on the 1970s.

Sub-series F: Legislation. This sub-series contains information on housing legislation in the 1970s including the Housing Act of 1974.

Sub-series G: News Clippings. This sub-series contains newspaper and magazine clippings Cox kept from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Also included are 1960s articles on the Cedar Point Club. These are included here as they were a private business venture separate from the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority. Topics include Cedar Point Club, Chrysler Hall, the Chrysler Museum, Lawrence Cox,  Norfolk Redevelopment including Downtown Norfolk, a light rail system for Hampton Roads, low income housing, the MacArthur Center, the Norfolk Medical School, Ocean View, various people and organizations, real estate, slum housing, Waterside, Virginia Beach, and other cities. Material is arranged alphabetically by topic.

Sub-series H: Organizations. This sub-series contains material related to various professional, businesses, and housing organizations that Mr. Cox was involved with during his time working as a real estate counselor.  Material dates from 1971 to 1998. Material is arranged alphabetically by organization name and then by date within each organization. Additional material on organizations may be found in the sub-series on Conferences.

Sub-series I: Personal Files of Lawrence M. Cox. This sub-series contains Mr. Cox’s personal files on various topics, persons, and projects. Most of the materials related to the early 1970s, and folders are arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series J: Professional Files, Lawrence M. Cox. This section includes bios, resumes, awards, and membership cards for Cox and others for the 1970s through the 1990s. Included is material on Lawrence Cox’s Honorary Doctorate awarded by Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS). Material is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series K: Projects. This sub-series contains information on projects Cox was involved with as a private real estate counselor. Includes material on the Atlantic City project, the Norfolk Medical Complex and Biomedical Research Park, the Norfolk Cultural and Convention Center (later to be known as the Norfolk Scope), downtown Norfolk, and the Norfolk World Trade Center. Also included are general plans for Norfolk, Suffolk, the state of Virginia, and other cities in other states. Additionally, there is information on housing cooperatives and an Investment Guaranty program. Material dates from 1970 to 1991, and is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series L: Publications. This sub-series contains books, magazines, reports made into booklets, brochures and other publications related to redevelopment and housing, business, Virginia, Norfolk, and other cities. Additionally, there are some clippings from magazines. Material dates from 1971 to 1998. Publications are arranged alphabetically by title, and then by date as necessary.

Sub-series M: Real Estate. This sub-series contains information on various real estate deals and investments made by Mr. Cox during the 1970’s and 1980’s. Included is material on Algonquin House, Cedar Point, Goodwin House, and Lake Ridge Condominiums, as well as deeds, stocks, and releases. Material is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series N: Redevelopment and Housing Authorities. This sub-series contains news clippings, correspondence, and other materials related to various housing authorities including the Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authorities. Material dates from 1971 to 1995, and is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series O: Speeches. This sub-series includes various speeches made by Cox during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Material is arranged chronologically.

Sub-series P: Miscellaneous. This section contains miscellaneous material related to Cox’s counseling and consulting career.

Series IV: Personal, 1902-2002

Sub-series A: Biographies. This sub-series contains biographical material on Lawrence Morgan Cox, Sr. Most of the material is from the 1960s and 1970s. Folders are arranged chronologically.

Sub-series B: Clubs and Associations. This section contains material on various clubs Lawrence Cox was involved with. Most of the clubs in this section are private clubs and not believed to be specifically work related. These include fraternities and fraternal organizations like Sigma Nu, Lambda Alpha, and the Fraternal Order of Police. They include historical clubs such as the Children of the Confederacy, the Sons of the American Revolution, and the United Daughters of the Confederacy (Cox’s mother was involved in this). Also included are various country clubs and other clubs that Cox was involved with. Material is arranged alphabetically, and dates from 1941 to 1998.

Sub-series C: Correspondence. This sub-series contains various correspondences, postcards, holiday, birthday, and get well cards dating from the 1930s to the 1990s.  Of particular note are Mr. Cox’s overseas correspondence and postcards, and the correspondence between Mr. Cox and his son. Material is arranged alphabetically, and then chronologically under each topic.

Sub-series D: Family. This sub-series contains information related to Lawrence Cox’s family. Includes material on Lawrence Cox’s first and second wife, his son, grandson, father, mother, and other family members.  This section also includes information on the Cox family in America and Cox Gap. Material is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series E: Hobbies. This sub-series contains information on Lawrence Cox’s hobbies. These include fishing, golf, stamp collecting, and history. Some material may belong to other family members. Material is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series F: Medical. This section contains material related to the health of Lawrence Cox, Sr. and his wife, Ethel B. Cox. Included are medical declarations for both, as well as various articles on health and medicine. Folders are arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series G: Philanthropy. This sub-series contains material related to Lawrence Cox’s philanthropic and charitable interests. This section includes solicitations, news articles, and promotional material for many non-profit organizations. Prominent among these is the Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) and Physicians for Peace. Material dates from 1943 to 1999, and is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series H: Politics. This sub-series contains material related to Lawrence Cox’s political involvement from the 1930s through the 1990s. Included is information on various elections and political issues. Of particular note is the material on the Young Democrats in 1936, and Henry Howell’s 1977 gubernatorial campaign. Material is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series I: Publications. This sub-series contains various magazines, catalogs, and other publications collected by Lawrence Cox. The bulk of the material is from the 1960s.  However, there are scattered publications dating anywhere from the 1940s to the 1990s. Publications are arranged alphabetically by title, and then chronologically, as appropriate.

Sub-series J: Religion. This section contains material related to Mr. Cox’s religious activities. Included are church bulletins, newsletters, and other religious paraphernalia. Material is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series K: Retirement at Hilton Head Island. This section contains material related to Lawrence Cox’s retirement at Hilton Head Island, North Carolina. Includes material on the local Episcopal Church, the Greater Island Committee, realty, and home insurance. Also included is the Seabrook newsletter for 1991 that profiles Mr. Cox and his wife. Some material is from the 1960s, but most focuses on the late 1980s and early 1990s.  Folders are arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series L: School/Education. This sub-series appears to relate mainly to the education of Mr. Cox’s son, Lawrence Cox, Jr. Included are promotional materials, newsletters, and a yearbook for the Episcopal High School of Virginia. Also included are correspondence, catalogs, newspapers, and other material for various colleges and universities. Material is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series M: Miscellaneous. This section contains material that is either unspecified or that does not fit easily into any of the other sub-series.  This section includes everything from scribbled notes to car repair receipts.

Series V: Photographs, 1939-1990, undated

Sub-series A: Events/Conferences. This sub-series contains photos from various conferences and events that Mr. Cox attended.  Of particular interest are photos of Mr. Cox receiving his honorary doctorate from EVMS in 1990; the Housing Act of 1949 being signed by President Harry S. Truman with Lawrence M. Cox present; and photos related to his nomination to HUD and his retirement from NRHA.

Sub-series B: Hobbies. This sub-series contains fishing and golf photos.

Sub-series C: International. This sub-series contains photos from Mr. Cox’s international trips and conferences. Countries highlighted include: Asia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, India, Kenya, Peru, Switzerland, and Tokyo.

Sub-series D: Norfolk. This sub-series contains photos of places and projects in Norfolk.  Included are photos of: Cedar Point, Downtown Norfolk, Golden Triangle Hotel, Hague Towers, the Scope, Norfolk General Hospital, Merrimac Park, Oak Leaf Park, Riverdale Park, and Roberts Park.

Sub-series E: Other U.S. Cities. This sub-series contains photos from U.S. cities outside the local area.  Most of these photos are either building plans or photos of new construction.

Sub-series F: People. This sub-series contains photos of people.  Included are photos of Lawrence Cox, his family, staff, and various other people.  Of particular interest are photographs of John F. Kennedy, Lawrence Cox with President George Bush, Sr., Norfolk Mayor Roy B. Martin with President Johnson.

Sub-series G: Miscellaneous. This section contains miscellaneous photos of unidentified people, negatives, and other items.

Sub-series H: Oversize PhotographsThis sub-series contains enlarged photographs of families and their living conditions in Norfolk, aerials of the Norfolk, inaugurations pictures of Governors Godwin and Robb, Lady Bird Johnson, townhouses and Moton Park..

Series VI: Oversize Maps and Blueprints, 1952-1993, undated

These items are located in oversize boxes and the Special Collections map case. The maps and blueprints in the oversize boxes and map case are grouped by topic whenever possible. This series contains maps of the Norfolk area including: Cedar Point, the Downtown area, East Ghent, and various other areas of Norfolk. Also contained are plans and layouts for Robert’s Park, Tidewater Park, the Norfolk Medical complex, and World War II housing. Additionally, there are materials related to International housing including maps and plans for the Bahamas, Germany, Peru, and Vietnam. Dates for materials range from 1952 to 1993.

Series VII: Artifacts, 1958-1992, undated

This series contains Scrapbooks, project development information, resolutions, proclamations, certificates, invitations and personal items of Lawrence Cox, Sr.  Materials date from 1958 to 1992.

Series VIII: Multimedia, 1961-1989, undated

This series contains recordings of conferences attended by Lawrence Cox, Sr. Materials date from 1961 to 1989.

Date Acquired: 09/23/1977. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: Cox, Lawrence M., Eastern Virginia Medical School, Hampton Roads (Va.)--History--20th century, Housing--United States, Housing--Virginia--Norfolk, Norfolk (Va.)--History--20th century, Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority, United States. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development

Languages: English

Abstract

Served as the Executive Director of the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority (NHRA) from 1941-1969 and, thereafter, as Assistant Secretary for Renewal and Housing Assistance in the Department of Housing and Urban Development during Nixon’s administration. Collection chiefly consists of the records accumulated during his service with the NHRA and HUD.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection deals primarily with the career of Lawrence M. Cox, Sr. at the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority; the Department of Housing and Urban Development; (HUD); and as a private real estate counselor.

These papers document his activities in Washington, D.C. in the early 1930's; in Norfolk from 1940 until 1969; with HUD in 1969 and 1970; and from his home in Suffolk, Norfolk, and Hilton Head Island, in later years. Additionally, this collection contains personal information on his family, retirement, and hobbies.

Materials in the archives consist of proposed and enacted legislation at the national and state level; press releases; mailing lists; newsletters; magazines; reports; pamphlets; books; correspondence; newspaper clippings; awards; achievements; resumes; photos; speeches, and various other materials.

Collection Historical Note

Lawrence Morgan Cox, Sr. was born March 12, 1912, in Norfolk, Virginia and he was raised in the Larchmont area of Norfolk. He was the second son of William Roland Cox, Sr. and Maude Belote Cox. He had one brother, William Roland Cox, Jr., and two sisters, Grace and Mary.  In 1942, he married Anne Irving Flippen. They had a son, Lawrence Morgan Cox, Jr. Cox and Flipper divorced in 1950.  In 1951, Cox married Ethel Mae Breeden. Cox had one stepdaughter, Mrs. Diane Fecher of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Cox attended Maury High School in Norfolk from 1927 to 1931. However, Cox enlisted in the United States Navy in June 1929 just before graduating Maury High School in anticipation of attending the Naval Academy. Unfortunately, Cox did not meet the Naval Academy’s physical requirements. Until his honorable discharge in December 1930, Cox served in the U.S. Navy as an aviator. After returning to graduate from Maury High School in 1931, and with the assistance of his father, Cox obtained a job loading cement with the Lone Star Cement Company in Washington, D.C.

In 1934, Cox joined the Public Works Administration Housing Division of the U.S. Government as a messenger and statistician. He was promoted in 1937 to Special Assistant to Jacob Crane, Assistant Administrator of the U.S. Housing Authority, and he served in that position until 1940. During his time in Washington, Cox took undergraduate courses in Public Administration and Business Administration at George Washington University.

Cox became Assistant Executive Director of the newly formed Norfolk Housing Authority now known as the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority in 1940. There was regional resistance to the establishment of the Authority but it was overcome by the support of the U.S. Navy who were short of housing, and by the creation of Merrimac Park set aside for U.S. Navy enlisted men and their families. Cox was named Executive Director of the Norfolk Housing Authority on April 1, 1941.

In 1942, Cox became a Bomb Reconnaissance Agent with the Virginia Office of Civilian Defense. Cox was instrumental in the formation of the Virginia Association of Housing Authorities, and served as its president from 1942-43.  When Cox was selected to head the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials NAHRO in 1948, he became the youngest man in NAHRO history to hold that position. While leading the NAHRO, Cox helped formulate the policies incorporated in the Housing Act of 1949, a landmark document that called for “a decent home and suitable environment for every American family.”

During 1949, Cox spent a great deal of time overseas involved in urban planning and rebuilding. He was a member of the American Delegation to the Economic Commission for Europe's International Conference on Building Documentation held in Geneva, Switzerland. He traveled in six European countries on a special study assignment for the State Department and the Housing and Home Finance Agency which dealt with housing and the rebuilding of cities. He also served as a special consultant to the U.S. High Commissioner for Germany and reviewed planning and rebuilding in five German cities. In 1956 and 1957, Cox served the State Department as part of the International Cooperation Administration's study on housing programs in Peru and as a special consultant to Peru's Presidential Commission on Housing and Land Reform. For his service to the nation of Peru, he was designated Knight Commander of the Order of Merit of Peru by President Prado. Cox participated in the International Seminar on Urban Renewal at The Hague, Netherlands in 1958. He also attended the 24th International Congress of Town Planning at Liege, Belgium that same year.

Even while Cox was serving his country internationally, he did not neglect the needs of Norfolk. Cox was the first city official to publicly support a medical school for Norfolk in a 1959 speech to the Norfolk Yacht Club. He reiterated his goal of a medical school for Norfolk during his 1961 speech commemorating the opening of the Medical Tower building, the first of four buildings in the Norfolk Medical Complex. Throughout the 1960's, Cox helped build community support for a medical college in Norfolk, VA. His efforts eventually led to the creation of the Eastern Virginia Medical School EVMS in 1973.

During the 1960s, Mr. Cox lectured extensively at graduate seminars and meetings, both at home and abroad. He addressed the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh in 1961. In 1962, he spent a month lecturing at the Graduate School of Ekistics, Athens Technical Institute in Athens, Greece. Also in 1962, Cox lectured at the International School of Social Studies at The Hague, Netherlands. Cox was also a guest speaker at the American Bar Association's 88th Annual Meeting in Miami, Florida 1965, the University of Cincinnati’s Graduate School of Architecture 1967, and the University of Virginia's Graduate School of Planning 1968.

Cox continued his role as Executive Director of the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority NRHA until his appointment as Assistant Secretary for Renewal and Housing Assistance of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 1969.  He was appointed by President Richard Nixon, and only served in this position until 1970. During this time, he continued as a consultant to urban development, planning, and housing bodies at the federal, state, and local levels. Cox resigned as Assistant Secretary for Renewal and Housing Assistance in July 1970, amid rumors of misused funds. The allegations were investigated, but Cox was never charged with any wrongdoing.  Cox steadfastly denied that his resignation had anything to do with the rumors.  He cited business concerns for his failing land development corporation in Nansemond County as his reason for leaving.

More legal troubles ensued in 1973 when Cox was brought before a Grand Jury for keeping interests in private enterprises while working for public interests during his time with NRHA. Between 1964 and 1985, Cox was an owner of two successful real estate development firms, one of these being Suffolk’s Cedar Point, a residential and golf community. However, the Grand Jury found no criminal misconduct by Cox, but did scold Cox for a breach of ethics.

In 1973, Lawrence Cox was appointed Counselor to the U.S. Conference of Mayors for policy and legislative matters; and from 1976 to 1982, he served on the Board of Commissioners of the Virginia Housing Development Authority. Cox also remained actively involved in real estate development from 1964 until the late 1980s.

In 1990, the Medical College of Hampton Roads and Eastern Virginia Medical School awarded Cox the degree of Doctor of Human Letters, honoris causa. In the early 1990's, he and his wife moved to the Hilton Head Island Retirement Community. After his retirement, Cox had the opportunity to pursue leisure activities. Cox was an avid golfer and a fisherman.  He was interested in history and involved in the Sons of the American Revolution and the Children of the Confederacy. Cox died on November 7, 2002 on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Subject/Index Terms

Cox, Lawrence M.
Eastern Virginia Medical School
Hampton Roads (Va.)--History--20th century
Housing--United States
Housing--Virginia--Norfolk
Norfolk (Va.)--History--20th century
Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority
United States. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections and University Archives

Accruals: Additional accession donated by Cox in May 1998 and further accesssions by Marvin W. Lee, Sr. in October 2003 and April, 2009.

Alternate Extent Statement: 214 Hollinger document cases, 13 oversize boxes, 1 poster tube

Access Restrictions: Open to researchers without restrictions.

Use Restrictions: Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from Special Collections and University Archives, and the holder of the copyright, if not Old Dominion University Libraries.

Acquisition Source: Lawrence M. Cox, Sr.

Acquisition Method: Gift. Accession #A77-71

Related Materials: Mason C. Andrews Papers (MG 62), Paul Caplan Papers (MG 78)

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], Box [insert number], Folder [insert number and title], Lawrence M. Cox, Sr. Papers., Special Collections and University Archives, Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library, Old Dominion University Libraries, Norfolk, VA 23529.

Processing Information: The collection was further processed by Mona Farrow from January-March 2017.

Finding Aid Revision History: The finding aid was revised and updated by Mona Farrow from January-March 2017.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series I: Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority, 1940-1969. undated],
[Series II: Housing and Urban Development, 1969-1970, 1969-1992, undated],
[Series III: Consulting, 1970-1998],
[Series IV: Personal, 1902-2002, undated],
[Series V: Photographs, 1939-1990],
[Series VI: Maps and Blueprints, 1952-1993, undated],
[Series VII: Artifacts, 1958-1992, undated],
[Series VIII: Multimedia, 1961-1989, undated],
[All]

Series V: Photographs, 1939-1990
This series contains photographs taken and collected by Cox on topics such as Norfolk urban development, trips to other countries, events and conferences, among others. The material dates from 1939 to 1990.
Sub-Series A: Events/Conferences, 1939-1990, undated
This sub-series contains photos from various conferences and events that Mr. Cox attended.  Of particular interest are photos of Mr. Cox receiving his honorary doctorate from EVMS in 1990; the Housing Act of 1949 being signed by President Harry S. Truman with Lawrence M. Cox present; and photos related to his nomination to HUD and his retirement from NRHA.  Material dates from 1939 to 1990.
Box 211
Folder 1: Airlie House Seminar, Warrington, VA, 1970 August 6-8
Folder 2: Al Hirshena Farewell Party, undated
Folder 3: Birmingham, Alabama Speech Photos, University of Alabama, 1969 September 5
Folder 4: Cox University Homecoming Day, 1965 October 2
Folder 5: Employee, 1969 March 21
Folder 6: EVMS Honorary Doctorate presented to Lawrence M. Cox,, 1990 May 19
Folder 7: Floyd Hyde, 1973 July 17
Folder 8: Housing Act of 1949 being Signed by President Harry S. Truman with Lawrence M.  Cox, 1949
Folder 9: HUD Appointment, 1969 February 20
Folder 10: HUD Nomination: L.M. Cox Interviewed by WTAR, 1969 March 7
Folder 11: HUD Nomination: L.M. Cox, 1969 April
Folder 12: HUD Nomination: Luncheon, 1969 March 10
Folder 13: HUD Nomination: Secretary Romney Vist, 1969 April 14
Folder 14: HUD Nomination: Salute to L.M. Cox Luncheon, 1989 March 28
Folder 15: HUD Parting Party, 1970 August
Folder 16: Lady Bird Johnson Visit, 1964 October 7
Folder 17: Luncheon, 1965 October 2
Folder 18: Masonic Temple Demolition, 1961 March 5
Folder 19: NAHRO Southeastern Regional Council, 1960
Folder 20: NAHRO Southeastern Regional Council, 1965
Folder 21: NAHRO Southeastern Regional Council, 1966
Folder 22: NAHRO, 1967
Folder 23: NAMCA, 1968
Folder 24: NRHA 40th Anniversary, 1980 July 30
Folder 25: Rodger Abraham, 1969
Folder 26: Rotary Club Luncheon, 1968 October 15
Folder 27: Safety Award, 1965 July 15
Folder 28: Sigma Nu Fraternity, 24th Anniversary Banquet, 1939 September 27
Folder 29: Testimonial Reception for Lawrence Cox,, 1970 August 25
Folder 30: Tidewater Association of Homebuilders Speech Photos, Norfolk, VA, 1969 September 23
Folder 31: Tidewater Builders Association Meeting, 1958 October 28
Folder 32: Urban Land Institute, Boston, 1984 October
Folder 33: Unknown Events, undated
Sub-Series B: Hobbies, 1946-1956, undated
This sub-series contains photos fishing and golf photos. Material dates from 1946 to 1956.
Box 212
Folder 1: Fishing, 1946, 1956 undated
Folder 2: Fishing Negatives, undated
Folder 3: Harder Hall Golf, undated
Sub-Series C: International, 1949-1971, undated
This sub-series contains photos from Mr. Cox's international trips and conferences. Countries highlighted include: Asia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, India, Kenya, Peru, Switzerland, and Tokyo.  Material dates from 1949 to 1971.
Box 212
Folder 4: Asia Trip, 1969
Folder 5: Denmark: Tivoli Gardens, 1949
Folder 6: England: Town of Plymouth, 1949
Folder 7: European Trip, R.M.S. Queen Mary, 1949
Folder 8: European Trip  Scandinavian Airline Services, 1949
Folder 9: France, 1949
Folder 10: Germany: Bertesgaden, 1949
Folder 11: Germany: Postwar Construction, 1949
Folder 12: Germany: Stuttgart, Munich, Frankfurt, Berlin, Bertesgaden, 1949
Folder 13: Greece, 1962
Folder 14: India, 1971
Folder 15: International Federation of Housing and Planning: Urban Renewal: Tokyo , Conference Exhibit, undated
Folder 16: Nairobi, Kenya, 1967
Folder 17: Peru: Conference, 1956
Folder 18: Peru: Groundbreaking, 1956
Folder 19: Peru: Housing, 1956
Folder 20: Switzerland: Annecy, 1949
Folder 21: Switzerland: Geneva, 1949
Folder 22: Miscellaneous, undated
Sub-Series D: Norfolk, 1940-1991, undated
This sub-series contains photos of places and projects in Norfolk.  Included are photos of: Cedar Point, Downtown Norfolk, Golden Triangle Hotel, Hague Towers, the Scope, Norfolk General Hospital, Merrimac Park, Oak Leaf Park, Riverdale Park, and Roberts Park. Material dates from 1940 to 1991.
Box 213
Folder 1: Aden Farms Ribbon Cutting, 1959
Folder 2: Cedar Point Club, 1991 undated
Folder 3: Cedar Point House, 1966 undated
Folder 4: Downtown Norfolk: Aerial Photos, 1964, 1969, 1983 undated
Folder 5: Downtown Norfolk: Main Plaza East, 1964
Folder 6: Golden Triangle, 1964
Folder 7: Hague Towers: Topping Off Ceremony, undated
Folder 8: Merrimac Park: Buildings, undated
Folder 9: Merrimac Park: Groundbreaking, 1940, 1963
Folder 10: Merrimac Park: Plans, undated
Folder 11: Norfolk Cultural and Convention Center: Groundbreaking, 1968
Folder 12: Norfolk General Hospital, undated
Folder 13: Oak Leaf Park: Plans, undated
Folder 14: Riverdale Park: Aerial Photo, undated
Folder 15: Roberts Park: Plans, undated
Folder 16: Unknown Events Photos with L.M. Cox, 1959, 1961, undated
Sub-Series E: Other U.S. Cities., 1965-1970, undated
This sub-series contains photos from U.S. cities outside the local area.  Most of these photos are either building plans or photos of new construction.  Material dates from 1965 to 1970.
Box 213
Folder 17: Chicago, Illinois, undated
Folder 18: NAMCA Plans and Facilities for Shriner, undated
Folder 19: New York Port Authority, 1965
Folder 20: Oakland, CA: Hospital, 1969-1970
Folder 21: Washington, D.C.: L, undated
Sub-Series F: People, 1941-2000, undated
This sub-series contains photos of President John F.  Kennedy, Lawrence M. Cox, Sr. with President George Bush, Sr., and  President  Lyndon B. Johnson  with Mayor Roy Martin, and photographs of Lawrence Cox, his family, staff and various other people.  Material dates from 1941 to 2000.
Box 213
Folder 22: Beach Photos, 1995 undated
Folder 23: Building Trades Council Members, undated
Folder 24: Camp Virginia Counselors, undated
Folder 25: Cox, Lawrence M.: Portrait Photos, 1941-2000
Folder 26: Cox, Lawrence M.: Publicity Photos, undated
Folder 27: Cox, Lawrence M. and Albert Rains, 1961 June
Folder 28: Cox, Lawrence M. and C.L. Kaufman, 1966 undated
Folder 29: Cox, Lawrence M. and George Bush, undated
Box 214
Folder 1: Cox, Jr., Lawrence, 1964
Folder 2: Family Photos, undated
Folder 3: Halloween Costume, 1990
Folder 4: HUD Staff, 1969-1970
Folder 5: Kennedy, John F, 1962
Folder 6: Martin, Roy B. and President Johnson, 1965 August 10
Folder 7: Secretaries, undated
Folder 8: Wallet Photos, undated
Folder 9: Miscellaneous People, 1940-1949
Folder 10: Miscellaneous People, 1954, 1958
Sub-Series G: Miscellaneous, photographs of
This sub-series contains photographs of unknown people, negatives, and other items.  Material dates from 1948 to 1970.
Box 214
Folder 11: Miscellaneous People, 1948-1970, undated
Folder 12: Miscellaneous People, 1963
Folder 13: Miscellaneous People, 1969
Folder 14: Miscellaneous People, 1970
Folder 15: Miscellaneous People I, undated
Folder 16: Miscellaneous People II, undated
Folder 17: Awards, Certificates, Plaques, undated
Folder 18: Capital Airlines, undated
Folder 19: Historical Society, 1969
Folder 20: United States Air Force Academy Slides, undated
Folder 21: United States Naval Academy, 1966
Folder 22: Miscellaneous Photos, undated
Folder 23: Miscellaneous Photo Materials and Notes, 1948, 1969, undated
Folder 24: Negatives, undated
Sub-Series H: Oversize Photographs, 1952-1989, undated
This sub-series contains enlarged photographs of families and their living conditions in Norfolk, aerials of the Norfolk, inaugurations photographs of Governors Godwin and Robb, Lady Bird Johnson, townhouses and Moton Park.  Material dates from 1952 to 1989
Box 215
Item 1: Poster of Slum UR VA 1-1, children playing outside taken by McIntosh Studio, 1952 July
Item 2: Poster of Slum of a boy in chair, credit to Ann Zane, undated
Item 3: Poster of Slum, undated
Item 4: Aerial of the City of Norfolk, credit to Ann Zane, undated
Item 5: Aerial of Norfolk from Elizabeth City, undated
Item 6: Aerial view of Norfolk from Elizabeth River by Photo Craftmen, Inc, 1962
Box 216
Item 1: Godwin at Robb Inauguration, 1989
Two photographs and a newsclipping
Item 2: Small Paper Disc with Godwin - Robb Inauguration, 1989
Godwin - Robb Inauguration written in black ink
Item 3: Slum Poster of Baby Walking Outside, undated
Item 4: Slum Poster of Woman Exiting Front Door, undated
Item 5: Poster of Townhouses, undated
Item 6: Poster of Moton Park, undated
Item 7: Aerial photo of Norfolk taken by Va. Dept. of Highways and Transportation, 1980 March 3
Item 8: Poster Aerial of Norfolk, undated
Item 9: Enhanced photograph of Governor Mills Godwin, 1982
Item 10: Enhanced photograph of newspaper clipping of Godwin, Linwood Holton and Lady Bird Johnson, 1982
Item 11: Aerial of Norfolk, 1950 March 25
Item 12: Five Unknown Aerial Photos of a Beach and Traffic, undated
Item 13: Photo of model of St. Paul Plaza Shopping Center -Downtown Plaza, undated

Browse by Series:

[Series I: Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority, 1940-1969. undated],
[Series II: Housing and Urban Development, 1969-1970, 1969-1992, undated],
[Series III: Consulting, 1970-1998],
[Series IV: Personal, 1902-2002, undated],
[Series V: Photographs, 1939-1990],
[Series VI: Maps and Blueprints, 1952-1993, undated],
[Series VII: Artifacts, 1958-1992, undated],
[Series VIII: Multimedia, 1961-1989, undated],
[All]

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