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Miami Media Baron


Thrashed in a lopsided presidential election, James Cox bounced back to build a national news empire.

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The Ohio governor was trounced by Warren Harding in 1920, so he focused on growing his newspaper chain. A trip to Florida gave him the idea to put down a marker in the small but growing town of Miami.

Modeled on a Spanish cathedral bell tower, the Miami Daily News building lasted less than one year before a hurricane tore off the top and sent it crashing through the newsroom. But Cox was not one to back down, not even when threatened by gangsters. He ordered it rebuilt.

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The regal entryway and lobby welcomed celebrities, business clients, and daily subscribers alike. Years later it became federal offices and a center for refugees fleeing Fidel Castro's takeover of Cuba.

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