Barbara Cox Anthony, 84, a billionaire and an heir to the Cox media fortune, died Monday at her home in Honolulu after an extended illness, Atlanta-based media conglomerate Cox Enterprises Inc. announced.
Anthony and her sister, Anne Cox Chambers, inherited the company from their father, founder and three-time Ohio Gov. James M. Cox, in 1974. The company includes cable television and broadband communications distributor Cox Communications as well as 17 newspapers.
In March, Forbes magazine estimated Anthony's assets and those of her sister at $12.6 billion each, making them the 45th richest people in the world.
Anthony was chairwoman of the corporation that publishes the Dayton Daily News in Ohio and a member of the Cox Enterprises Board of Directors, although she and her sister had little to do with the day-to-day operations of their media empire. Anthony's son James C. Kennedy has run the company since 1988.
A philanthropist who made her contributions privately and through the James M. Cox Foundation, she also served as a member of the board of the Hawaii Preparatory Academy on the Big Island and was a director and founder of the Hawaii School for Girls, now called La Pietra.
Anthony owned the 7,500-acre Hualalai Ranch on the Big Island and oversaw its cattle, flower and coffee operations. She also owned a cattle ranch in Australia.