Anne Cox Chambers, Atlanta philanthropist, owner of WSB-TV, dies at age 100

ATLANTA — Anne Cox Chambers, philanthropist, diplomat and Chairman of Atlanta newspapers, has died. She was 100.

Chambers was the owner of Cox Enterprises, the former parent company of WSB-TV.

“Aunt Anne was a wonderful, kind and elegant lady who cared deeply about her family, her company and her country,” said her nephew, Jim Kennedy, who served as Cox Enterprises chief executive officer from 1988 to 2008 and continues his leadership as chairman.

“She took the responsibility of good fortune very seriously and gave back to the best of her ability to the many causes she cared about.”

Her father, James M. Cox, was a former school teacher and news reporter when he founded the Dayton Daily News in 1898. He later served three terms as governor of Ohio and lost a bid for the presidency in 1920.

A year before that presidential campaign, Anne Beau Cox was born in Dayton.

[President Jimmy Carter makes statement on Anne Cox Chambers’ death]

Her brother, James Cox, Jr., took over as chairman of Cox Enterprises when their father died in 1957. He served until 1974.

Three years later, Chambers detoured from a life of business and philanthropy into diplomacy, when President Jimmy Carter named her his ambassador to Belgium.

She served in that role for four years and was honored by the Belgian government.

Returning to Atlanta, Chambers began a 10-year stint on the board of the Coca-Cola Company. She was also a trustee of the Atlanta Arts High Alliance.

The High Museum wing designed by the famed Renzo Piano bears her name.

In 2007, she played a central role in obtaining works for an exhibit at the High from the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Through it all, the company on whose board she sat grew exponentially. Revenues increased more than seven-fold beginning in the late 1980's.

Her nephew, James Cox Kennedy, was chairman and CEO during most of that period.

Kennedy issued a brief statement that reads in part: “We will always be grateful to her for her leadership and constant support of cox employees, their families and our businesses.”

Atlanta and the metro area holdings of Cox Enterprises were particularly special to her. Chambers served on the Cox board of directors and retained the title of chairman of Atlanta Newspapers.

“She loved Atlanta,” said her grandson Alex Taylor, the current president and CEO of Cox Enterprises. "She thought it was a critical place in the world. She traveled a lot to France.

“She had a place in New York. But she loved Atlanta and did her best to bring all the best to it. She would want to be known for being a person who cared about her home, someone who cared about making the world a better place in her own way.”

Information from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution was used in this report