Steve Cox was born on Long Island, NY on May 29, 1958. He grew up in Edison, NJ, attended St. Pius High School in Piscataway, graduated from the University of Scranton in 1980, and went on to obtain an MBA with honors from Farleigh Dickinson University in 1983. After graduating from FDU, Steve met Donna Scruggs, whom he married in 1989. Among his many passions in life were golf and running (he ran in the New York City Marathon in 1988), his family, friends and church.
Steve’s professional career began when he accepted a job with AT&T in 1985. For the next five years he would hold a variety of management positions in the company’s advertising and marketing organizations.
In spring of 1989, tests revealed a rare cancerous tumor – usually found only in children – had formed on Steve’s hip bone. For the next 22 months he underwent intensive chemotherapy and several operations. Despite significant physical challenges and excruciating pain, Steve remained incredibly strong, positive and focused on beating the disease and performing his job. In fact, he never really gave up the fight. Shortly before Steve’s death, he was awarded the coveted Spirit of Communications award, for his contributions to the company’s college marketing program, as well as for the courage and strength he exhibited during his battle with cancer.
Through it all, Steve never lost his unique and upbeat sense of humor. In the waning weeks of his battle, he suggested to his father that in the “unlikely” event of his death, an “I’d rather be sailing” bumper sticker might look good on his casket. Family and friends well remember how his positive thinking helped them cope with his illness.
Steve’s resilience and strength were truly inspirational. His life touched a great many lives, and continues to do so today. He died on May 15, 1991 at age 32, shortly after coming to terms with his disease.
Since his death, Steve’s story has been shared with many people who are undertaking similar challenges. One of his favorite perspectives on life – embodied in the words above – continue to help others get through their own obstacles and misfortunes. It remains a fitting legacy for Steve’s life.