Berkeley Cox taught as an assistant professor of law at Washington and Lee during the academic year 1920-1921. The 1920 Law Catalogue states that he would teach Contracts, Bailments and Carriers, Insurance, Corporations, Damages, and Municipal Corporations. Almost six decades after the fact, Cox recalled having "taught Contracts, Agency, ..." and "a large class in Business Law in the School of Commerce." Dean Long wanted to continue the teaching arrangement, but Cox was eager to get into the private practice of law. This was the extent of Coxís career as a legal educator, but his ties to Washington and Lee, and Lexington, run very deep.
Lewis Berkeley Cox, Jr. (He abandoned the "Jr." on the death of his father. He never used his first name and legally changed his name around 1925 to eliminate the "Lewis." Hence, one of his sons is named Berkeley Cox, Jr.) was born in Portland, Oregon July 17, 1894, though obituaries state he was a native of Lexington, Virginia. This discrepancy is entirely understandable. Upon graduating from Washington and Lee University School of Law in 1878, Coxís father, Lewis Berkeley Cox, practiced law in Oregon, first in Pendleton and later in Portland. On a trip east in 1890, the elder Cox married Elinor Jackson Junkin, namesake and niece of Stonewall Jacksonís first wife. Coxís father died in 1901 leaving his wife with three small boys of whom Berkeley, at age six, was the eldest. The family moved to Washington, D.C., and in 1903 bought Mulberry Hill, a stately home in Lexington, Virginia adjacent to the W&L campus. Soon thereafter, Coxís mother married Dr. John H. Latane, Professor of American History at Washington and Lee.
Berkeley Cox took his B.A. degree from W&L in 1914. He taught at the prep schools McCaullie School in Chattanooga and St. Albans School in Washington, D.C. before entering W&Lís School of Law in 1916. Before finishing his first year of law school, Cox joined the United States World War I effort by entering Officersí Training Camp at Fort Myer, Virginia. He shipped out to France as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Sixth Infantry, receiving two bullet wounds at the Battle of St. Mihiel. He earned the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star Citation, and the Order of the Crown (Belgium).
There followed months of rehabilitation at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C., during which time Cox took evening classes in the George Washington School of Law. By fall of 1919, Cox was able to return to the W&L law school. Meanwhile, in about 1913 his stepfather, Dr. Latane, had accepted a position at Johns Hopkins University, which is why Coxís hometown is listed as Baltimore, Maryland in W&L student records. (His family sold Mulberry Hill to Lewis Tyree, another W&L law professor. The home remains in the Tyree family to this day.) Cox stayed in his fraternity house during his last years as an undergraduate, and in the home of General Edward West Nichols, Superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute, during law school. (General Nicholsí wife was a maternal aunt to Cox.)
After leaving his teaching position at W&L, Cox practiced law in Richmond for four years. During this time he met and married Margaret Preston Stuart of Abingdon, Virginia, whose father, John James Stuart, was a circuit court judge. In 1925 Cox accepted a job at the home office of Aetna Insurance in Hartford, Connecticut. He worked as a lawyer for Aetna for thirty-five years, the last ten of which as head of the law department with the title of general counsel. He retired in 1959.
Always active in civic affairs, Cox was a founder of the Hartford Urban League, and served as chairman of both the Hartford Housing Authority and the Connecticut State Housing Authority. He was deacon of the Asylum Hill Congregational Church, trustee of the Hartford Seminary Foundation, director of the Greater Hartford Chamber of Commerce, and director of the Greater Hartford YMCA. He was chairman of the Citizens Charter Committee of Hartford and of the 1966 Charter Revision Commission.
Berkeley Cox died on October 25, 1979 in West Hartford, Connecticut. The 1920 edition of The Calyx, W&Lís student annual, extolled Coxís undergraduate heroics and his war service. It went on to speak of "his modesty, his integrity, his brilliant mind, and his attractive personality. ... (he is) one of the few men of whom it may be said that everyone honors and admires." These sentiments were echoed in eulogies some fifty-nine years later. A son-in-law stated, "He had a sense of probity and honor and would never say anything that wasnít thought through and accurate." A close friend and long-time business associate added, "Though he could be firm, I donít believe he ever did an unkind thing in his life."