Robert J. Cox papers, 1879-2010, bulk 1945-2010

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Cox , Robert J., 1933-
The Robert J. Cox papers document his career as a journalist in Argentina and the United States as well as his personal life. The Robert J. Cox papers consist of correspondence, newspaper clippings, articles, event programs, magazines, journals, notes, administrative records, and photographs. The contents consist of Robert J. Cox's working files as a journalist as well as materials from his personal life. Major themes in the collection include journalism, human rights abuses, the Argentine Dirty War/El Proceso, the disappeared (los desaparecidos), censorship, human rights in Latin America, and Jews in Argentina.
21.25 Linear Feet
Materials in English and Spanish.
Collection ID:


Scope and content:

The Robert J. Cox papers consists of his working files as a journalist and personal life in both Argentina and later the United States. The Robert J. Cox papers comprises four series: the Correspondence series, 1964-2010; the Subject Files series, 1945-2010; the Writings series, 1945-2004; and Publications, 1879-2006. The Correspondence series includes Robert Cox's personal and professional correspondence from his career as a journalist. The Subject Files series consists of clippings, administrative records, and photographs. The Writings series consists of both published and unpublished materials written by Robert Cox and others. The Publications series consists of full-length magazines, pamphlets, and other publications; many of them include articles written by Robert Cox. Materials are in both English and Spanish.

Biographical / historical:

Robert Cox was born in England in 1933 and came to Buenos Aires as a young man in 1959. He worked as a journalist and eventually became the editor of the Buenos Aires Herald, the largest English-language newspaper in Argentina. Cox married Maud Daverio, who came from a prominent Buenos Aires family. They had five children.

At the Buenos Aires Herald, Cox wrote about the disappearances of left wing activists and extremists who were targeted by the Argentine military. He continued to cover the violence of the Dirty War/El Proceso even while receiving personal threats. Cox was honored with the Maria Moors Cabot Prize in 1978 for his reporting on Latin America.

Cox and his family fled Argentina in 1979 after his son Peter received an anonymous, detailed threat. After holding other positions, including a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University, Cox become the assistant editor at The Post and Courier in Charleston, South Carolina. While in the United States, Cox continued to publish stories about the political landscape of Argentina as well. He also wrote at length about political violence in Central America and Cuba.

In 2008, his son David Cox published a book about his father's journalistic career in Argentina entitled Dirty Secrets, Dirty War: The Exile of Robert J. Cox (Buenos Aires, Argentina: 1976-1983).

The Buenos Aires Herald closed in 2017; their holdings are not widely archived elsewhere, so the copies of Herald materials in the collection may not be accessible in other institutions.

Acquisition information:
The Robert J. Cox papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library as a gift in 2016.
Processing information:

Processed by Patrick Stawski and Michelle Runyon, December, 2019.

Accessions described in this collection guide: 2016-0123

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard


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Collection is open for research.

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The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

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Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Robert J. Cox papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.