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John Cox was born on 17 May 1941 in Dorking, Surrey, England. John lived next to an RAF Spitfire airfield in the London area during his youth and was fortunate to have survived the heavy bombing of that area during the Second World War. He started his career as an engineering apprentice with British European Airways (now British Airways) at Heathrow Airport in London. At the same time of his apprenticeship he attended Southall College of Technology and graduated as a chartered aeronautical engineer. At college, he served two teams as student body president. He is a member of the Royal Aeronautical Society.
His rise to management level positions in the airline was rapid, concluding his career in aviation at the age of 36 as managing director of British Airways Engineering – Wales and chief engineer of British Airways Regional Division. Along with other directors he was a key figure in the integration of BOAC, BEA and BAS into British Airways in 1974.
In 1977, recognizing John’s organizational skills, the LDS Church asked him to leave his chosen career of twenty years and take up the newly created full-time position of director for temporal affairs for the British Isles/Africa area. Later the Church asked him to move to Church headquarters in Salt Lake City where he continued directing temporal affairs on a worldwide basis until his retirement in 2003.