September 15, 2014

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Daughter of former Ohio governor leaves fortune to children


HONOLULU (AP) — The portion of the Cox media fortune held by Barbara Cox Anthony, one of the richest women in the world before her death in May, will be passed on to her two children, her attorney said Thursday.

Anthony’s stock in the company was held in trust and will be split between her son, James C. Kennedy, and her daughter, Blair Kennedy Parry-Okeden, attorney Mary Jane Connell said.

Anthony, who Forbes magazine estimated was worth $12.6 billion in March, died at age 84 in Honolulu following an extended illness.

She, her sister Anne Cox Chambers, and their older brother James M. Cox Jr. initially held equal interests in the company after their father, 1920 Democratic presidential candidate and three-time Ohio Gov. James M. Cox, died in 1957. The sisters succeeded to their brother’s interest in the company when he died in 1974.

Cox and her sister were the 45th-richest people in the world, according to the Forbes rankings. Together, they reportedly owned 98 percent of Cox Enterprises Inc., although a company spokeswoman on Thursday said she couldn’t confirm their stakes.

The company includes cable television distributor Cox Communications, 17 daily newspapers, 26 non-daily newspapers, 15 TV stations, a majority ownership of 80 radio stations and an auto auction business, according to Cox Enterprises’ Web site.

Connell said she didn’t know the value of the trust, and the company spokeswoman said that information wasn’t readily available.

Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises is a private company with about 80,000 employees and revenues of $13.2 billion in 2006, according to its most recent annual report.

Anthony and her sister had little to do with the day-to-day operations of their vast media empire, which has been run by Anthony’s son since 1988.

According to her will, which was filed in Hawaii Circuit Court last week, Anthony also bequeathed $2.5 million to La Pietra Hawaii School for Girls, of which she was a director and founder.

Another $4 million went to her husband, Garner Anthony, and $3 million was given to her son. Various other amounts from $25,000 to $1 million went to friends and relatives.

Half of the rest of Anthony’s assets not otherwise distributed through her will go to the Barbara Cox Anthony Foundation. She donated substantial amounts of her wealth to charity and served on the board of the World Wildlife Fund.