George Albertus Cox
George Albertus Cox, financier, senator, philanthropist (b at Colborne, Upper Canada 7 May 1840; d at Toronto 16 Jan 1914). A telegraph operator, Cox became prominent in Peterborough, Ontario, as mayor, TEMPERANCE leader and president of the Midland Railway and the Central Canada Loan and Savings Co. In 1888 he moved to Toronto and by 1900 had become one of Canada's most influential businessmen as president of the Bank of Commerce and the Canada Life Assurance Co and founder, president, VP or director of over 40 other firms. Although colleagues found his individualistic business methods and efforts to create a family dynasty inappropriate, Cox symbolized Toronto's aggressive challenge to Montréal's financial leadership in the prewar period. In 1896 Sir Wilfrid LAURIER appointed him to the Senate. A Methodist, Cox helped many needy individuals and contributed generously to that church, Toronto General Hospital and the University of Toronto.