Charles Christopher Cox (born October 16, 1952, in St. Paul, Minnesota), is a former Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, a 17-year Republican member of the United States House of Representatives, and member of the White House staff in the administration of President Ronald Reagan. Prior to his Washington service he was a practicing attorney, teacher, and entrepreneur.
After graduating from Saint Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights, Minnesota in 1970, Cox earned his B.A. at the University of Southern California in 1973, following an accelerated three-year course. He was also a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity. In 1977 he earned both an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he was an Editor of the Harvard Law Review.
In 1978, Cox was paralyzed from the waist down following a serious off-road Jeep accident in the rainforest on the Hawaiʻian island of Molokaʻi. He eventually regained the ability to walk, but wore a harness of steel bars and leather straps for six months. He still has two metal screws in his back, and according to a 2005 Fortune magazine profile, “has been in pain every day for the past 27 years.” Since he can't sit for extended periods of time, he has a special desk that allows him to work while standing.