Anne Cox Chambers, Media Heiress and Former US Ambassador, Dies at 100

February 3, 2020 Updated: February 3, 2020
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Anne Cox Chambers, a billionaire heiress of media company Cox Enterprises and a former U.S. ambassador to Belgium, died at her home on Jan. 31 at the age of 100, the company confirmed.

“My aunt, a vivacious and charismatic woman, was very proud of Cox Enterprises’s success and the accomplishments of its employees,” Jim Kennedy, Cox Enterprises chairman and Chambers’s nephew, said in a statement to CNN and other media outlets.

“In addition to her work for the company, she had a career of her own that was driven by her personal passions and the respect she earned within the business community.”

Chambers served as ambassador to Belgium during the administration of President Jimmy Carter. She also was a director of the board at Coca-Cola during the 1980s.

“I received a check each month from the U.S. government, and I knew that I had earned it,” Chambers told Fortune magazine in 1991 about her political role.

Carter offered condolences following Chambers’s death, in a statement on his website.

“Ambassador Chambers was an important part of our lives for over six decades,” Carter said. “Her life serves as a path for fairness and equality for everyone and especially for women and girls.”

He added: “Atlanta, our state of Georgia, and the world has lost a wonderful woman, business leader, and philanthropist. Rosalynn and I are grateful to have been among those whose lives were so richly touched by her.”

Cox Enterprises is run by Chambers’s grandson Alexander C. “Alex” Taylor, who serves as president and CEO, and is owned by her children: Margaretta J. Taylor, Katharine J. Rayner, and James C. Chambers, as well as the children of her sister, Barbara Cox Anthony, who died in 2007. They are Blair Parry-Okeden and James Cox Kennedy.

Chambers was the daughter of James Middleton Cox, who founded Cox Enterprises, which has owned The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, WSB-TV, and a number of other media ventures. Chambers, her mother, and her siblings inherited the company when the elder Cox died in 1957. Its subsidiaries include Cox Communications, one of the largest cable providers in the United States, and Cox Automotive.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, in a statement, praised Chambers for her “contributions to the city of Atlanta and the state of Georgia,” which “will be felt for generations to come.”

Forbes magazine estimated that Chambers’s net worth was about $17 billion in 2016, but “she dropped off the Forbes 400 list that year after transferring her fortune to her children.”

“Her three children, James Chambers, Katharine Rayner, and Margaretta Taylor, are all billionaires,” according to the magazine.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.