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
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.