James C. Kennedy is chairman of privately-held Cox Enterprises, a leading communications, media and automotive services company. He is the grandson of former Ohio Governor and presidential candidate James M. Cox, who founded the company in 1898.
Kennedy has been with Cox since 1972. He started as a production assistant with Atlanta newspapers, where he held various positions including reporter, copy editor, advertising salesman, business manager and executive vice president/general manager. In 1979, he was named president of Grand Junction (Colorado) Newspapers, Inc. and, a few months later, publisher of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. While at the Daily Sentinel, he served as Chairman of the Colorado Division of Wildlife Commission and was awarded Conservationist of the Year.
In 1985, Kennedy transferred back to Atlanta as vice president of Cox Newspapers, a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises. He was named executive vice president of Cox Enterprises the following year, and in January 1988, Kennedy was named chairman and chief executive officer.
During Kennedy's tenure, Cox Enterprises has increased in annual revenues from $1.8 billion to $15 billion.
Kennedy serves on the board for the PATH Foundation. He is a former president of Wetlands America Trust, Inc. and served on the boards of Ducks Unlimited and Atlanta Committee for Progress. He's the recipient of The Trust for Public Land's Conservation Champion award, Ducks Unlimited's Conservation Achievement Award, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s national Blue-winged Teal Award for his conservation philanthropy, and the Georgia Conservancy's Distinguished Conservationist of the Year award.
He was inducted into Georgia State University's J. Mack Robinson College of Business Hall of Fame in 2004 and was bestowed an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Kennesaw State University in 2003. Kennedy and his wife were recognized as the 2003 Philanthropists of the Year by the Greater Atlanta Chapter of the Association for Fund- raising Professionals in recognition of their many contributions to the community.
A former competitive cyclist, Kennedy is a past Masters National, Pan American and World Champion in the 3000 meter pursuit. He served as captain of a four-man team that won the Race Across AMerica (RAAM) in 1992, setting a world's record. In 1994, the same team finished second, establishing a new American record. Kennedy was also one of five named to the United States Cycling Federation Master's All-American team and was the honorary chairman of the 1993, 1994 and 1995 Bike Tours of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's Georgia Chapter. In 1997, he was named the honorary chairman of the Tour de Cure cycling event benefiting the American Diabetes Association.
Born in Honolulu, Kennedy holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Denver.