Alumni Association Awards
Park University’s 2009 Distinguished Alumnus: Stephen Cox, Class of 1988 An accomplished journalist and author, Stephen Cox, ‘88, was recognized by the Alumni Association at the Alumni Weekend Awards Banquet on June 27 for a career that began before he left the Parkville Campus. A former student of Park University associate professor John Lofflin, Cox learned and practiced his craft as a student. He was co-editor of The Park Stylus, earning the title of Missouri College Newspaper Association Journalist of the Year his junior year. During his senior year he wrote his first book, The Beverly Hillbillies, about the television classic. Twenty-one books have followed, covering subjects on pop culture and favorite classic television series and films. His most recent, The Incredible Mr. Don Knotts, co-authored with Kevin Marhanka, was published in 2008. Additional works such as Here on Gilligan’s Isle, The Munsters, The Addams Chronicles, The Hooterville Handbook: A Viewer’s Guide to Green Acres and Dreaming of Jeannie have become favorites of television viewers who grew up watching these shows. Several of his books star beloved classic film characters. The Munchkins of Oz, and One Fine Stooge: Larry Fine’s Frizzy Life in Pictures tell the tales of the actors from those early movies. Cox worked closely with actor Buddy Ebsen (Beverly Hillbillies and The Wizard of Oz) to write his autobiography, The Other Side of Oz. He enlisted the help of Lofflin to write The Abbott and Costello Story. Using the interview skills he honed at his alma mater, Cox has interviewed and written about some of the world’s best-known Fall 2009 - 34
celebrities. Cox especially cherishes his interviews with radio and TV pioneer George Burns, British comedian Benny Hill, actor Mickey Rooney, sports icon Joe DiMaggio and comedians Jerry Lewis, Dick Van Dyke, and Jerry Seinfeld. Cox has the distinction of being the only writer to obtain an interview with Johnny Carson, host of The Tonight Show, to be used in a book. The interview culminated in Here’s Johnny! Considered an expert on vintage television programs, Cox has contributed articles to TV Guide, The Hollywood Reporter, US Weekly magazine, the St. Louis Post Dispatch and the Los Angeles Times. He is a popular television interview guest, appearing on such programs as Larry King Live, Good Morning America, CBS Nightwatch, E! True Hollywood Story, A&E Biography and the 2009 PBS documentary Make ‘em Laugh.
Published on Dec 14, 2009