J. Mark Wilcox
Wilcox was born in Willacoochee, Georgia, the second son of Dr. Jefferson Taylor Wilcox and his wife Marian Henson Wilcox. He attended public schools and Emory University. After graduation from Emory, he worked as a teacher before attending law school at Mercer University. He graduated from Mercer in 1910 and was admitted to the bar the same year; he commenced practice in Hazlehurst, Georgia.
Wilcox served as the solicitor of Jeff Davis County, Georgia from 1911-18. Thereafter, in 1919 he moved to Brunswick, Georgia, then in 1925 to West Palm Beach, Florida, continuing the practice of law. He served as city attorney of West Palm Beach from 1928–33 and as a member of the taxation committee of President Herbert Hoover's Conference on Home Ownership in 1931.
Elected to Congress in 1933, he authored HR Bill 3151 in 1937 which recommended separating the Air Corps from the Army and making it an independent service. He also authored the Wilcox Municipal Bankruptcy Act which became law in 1934; it allowed West Palm Beach to adjust its bonded indebtedness and avoid bankruptcy. It was later invoked to help New York City avoid bankruptcy in 1972.
Wilcox was elected as a Democrat to the Seventy-third, Seventy-fourth, and Seventy-fifth Congresses (March 4, 1933 – January 3, 1939). He was not a candidate for renomination in 1938, but was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination for United States Senator. He resumed the practice of law in Miami, Florida.
Later, he served as Attorney General for the Dade County Port Authority/Greater Miami Traffic Association from 1945 until his death at his farm, ChrisMar, in White Springs, Florida, February 3, 1956; his death was recorded in the Congressional Record, Volume 102-Part 2, pg 2266. He is interred in Woodlawn Park Cemetery, Miami, Florida.
Wilcox is the namesake of Miami International Airport; its official name is J. Mark Wilcox Field.
He married Lyde Christine Helm (December 8, 1892 – August 7, 1973) of Birmingham, AL on November 27, 1910. They had two sons, James Mark Wilcox, Jr. (March 18, 1915 – August 5, 1995) and Joel C. Wilcox, Sr. (August 7, 1918 – October 31, 2009).
|United States House of Representatives|
Ruth Bryan Owen
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 4th congressional district
This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.