James L. Cox, M.D. was born and raised in Fair Oaks, Arkansas. He was recruited to Ole Miss by Johnny Vaught and from 1960-64, played baseball and freshman basketball, was president of Alpha Epsilon Delta and was a member of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. After turning down baseball contracts from the San Francisco Giants and L.A. Dodgers, he enrolled at UT Medical School in 1963. He received his medical degree in 1967 and was awarded outstanding student in his graduating class.
Cox trained in cardiothoracic surgery at Duke University. He spent the majority of his career as the first Evarts A. Graham Professor of Surgery and chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes Hospital in St. Louis. In 1997, Dr. Cox became the chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Georgetown University. He later became chairman and CEO of the World Heart Foundation.
During his surgical career, Cox was the 81st president of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, chairman of the Residency Review Committee for Thoracic Surgery, director of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery and board member of numerous professional organizations.
Cox is best known for his work in the field of cardiac arrhythmia surgery and the development of the eponymous “Cox-Maze Procedure” for the treatment of atrial fibrillation. Variations of his procedure are performed in over one-half million patients per year worldwide.
Cox received several scientific achievement awards throughout his career. He lives in Atlanta and serves as a senior consultant to eight medical device companies and on the board of directors of four of them.
Created in 1974, the Hall of Fame honors select alumni who have made an outstanding contribution to their country, state or the University of Mississippi through good deeds, services or contributions that have perpetuated the good name of Ole Miss.
Inductees into the Alumni Hall of Fame for 2016 are: David E. Brevard (BA 78) of Tupelo; James L. Cox, M.D. (63) of Atlanta; Thomas C. Meredith (EDD 71) of Oxford; Thomas J. “Sparky” Reardon (BAEd 72, PhD 00) of Oxford; and Constance Slaughter-Harvey (JD 70) of Forest.
T. Michael Glenn (BBA 77) of Memphis will receive the Alumni Service Award for service to the University and the Alumni Association over an extended period. Patrick Woodyard (BA 10) of Nashville, Tennessee, will receive the Outstanding Young Alumni Award, which recognizes alumni who have shown exemplary leadership throughout their first 15 years of alumni status in both their careers and dedication to Ole Miss.