Alonzo Bettis Cox, professor emeritus of marketing, died
on December 25, 1968. He was 84.
Professor Cox was born on April 2, 1884,
in Enfield, Illinois. He earned bachelors and masters degrees from
The University of Texas at Austin in 1911 and 1914, respectively. He was
awarded a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1920.
He served as president
of Abilene Christian University (ACC) in 1911-12 while his brother, president of ACC, was on sick leave. ACC later awarded him an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
From 1920-23, he was in charge of the Division of Farm and Ranch Economics at the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station. He directed cotton marketing research at the United States Department of Agriculture, and in 1924-25, he represented the USDA as an agricultural economist in Europe.
Professor Cox joined the faculty of UT Austin in 1926, and retired
in 1957. In 1926, the Bureau of Business Research (BBR) was established, and Cox
served as its first director. He was director of the BBR until 1945, when he created the Cotton Economic
Research center (CER), which became internationally acclaimed under
his leadership for its research on cotton marketing and merchandising. The CER evolved into the Natural
Fibers Information Center (NFIC), which existed until August 31, 2007.
1927, Professor Cox organized and chaired the Texas Cotton Committee, a policy-making
group. In the 1940s and 1950s, he was involved with the Cotton Research Congress. In 1942,
he assisted the Texas Statewide Cotton Committee in preparing the "Charter
for Cotton," which established economic principles governing the cotton
Professor Cox was a member of the State Intercollegiate Schools of Business
Administration Committee in 1939. He served as advisor and committee member for the National Cotton Council in 1940-41. He was a special advisor to the U.S. Office of Price Administration on cotton price fixing during World War II. He also served on the Texas Postwar Planning Commission.
Cox authored or coauthored An Economic Study of a Typical
Ranching Area on the Edwards Plateau of Texas
(1922), The Cottonseed
Crushing Industry of Texas in its National Setting
(1949), and Cotton-Demand-Supply-Merchandising
Cox addressed the International Cotton Congress on three occasions, in
Prague in 1933 and in Cairo in 1937 and 1951.
In 1987, the University dedicated the A.B. Cox Memorial
Library in his honor. The library, housed at NFIC, contained approximately 1,000 volumes
dating from 1847 to 1950 and included a rare collection of books on cotton
as well as Professor Cox's archive. In 2000, the books were incorporated in the Life Science Library of the
University of Texas General Libraries. In 2007, the NFIC transferred the archive to the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, where it has an online finding aid, A Guide to the Alonzo B. Cox Papers
Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The General Faculty
sketch found in the Documents of the General Faculty
on page D 1071
Revisions made on May 23, 2005, and on April 8, 2010, with input from Julia Apodaca, former director, Natural
Fibers Information Center. Additional biographical sources can be found in Barker
Texas History Center and the New
Handbook of Texas,
Texas State Historical Association, 1996.