Class of 1993
Senator for Saugeen, Ontario
George A. Cox was born in 1840 in Colborne, Upper Canada. He was an outstanding businessman as well as an active member of his community, and sat on the Canadian Senate for over 17 years.
Cox first made a name for himself as a telegraph operator for the Montreal Telegraph Company, becoming their agent in Peterborough, Ontario. He became an agent for the Canada Life Assurance Company in 1861, and by the late 1880’s his eastern Ontario branch was doing almost half of the company’s business. Cox went on to serve 7 years as mayor of Peterborough, also accumulating significant real estate in the area. In 1878 Cox became president of the Midland Railway of Canada, and in 1884 he founded the Central Canada Loan and Savings Company.
Moving to Toronto in 1888, Cox became president of the Canadian Bank of Commerce two years later. He was appointed to the Senate of Canada in 1896 by Sir Wilfrid Laurier. Always the insurance salesman, it has been said that when he first went to Ottawa as a senator he succeeded in insuring every eligible senator in the chamber before the session concluded.
At the turn of the new century, Cox controlled a number of important Canadian companies in the insurance and finance sectors and was one of the few Canadian millionaires of his time. A skilled salesman, he continued to experience great success in the insurance business and eventually became president and general manager of Canada Life Assurance in 1900. In addition to his business success, Cox was a member of the Executive Committee of the Victorian Order of Nurses, a founding member of the Canadian Red Cross, and an active member of the Methodist Church.
George A. Cox passed away in 1914 and was buried in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto.