John H. Cox
Birth Name: John Kaplan
Place of Birth: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Date of Birth: July 15, 1955
Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish
John H. Cox, full name John Herman Cox, is an American accountant, businessperson, broadcaster, attorney, and politician. He is also known as John Cox.
He was a candidate for the Republican Party’s nomination for President of the United States in 2008.
John is the son of Priscilla Edna (Pick) and Albert Kaplan. Cox is his stepfather’s surname. John is married to Sarah, with whom he has four children.
John’s birth parents were both Jewish. John practices Catholicism with his family (it not clear if he was raised Catholic, or later converted).
John’s paternal grandfather was named William S. Kaplan. William was born in Lithuania.
John’s paternal grandmother was named Dora Finkelstein. Dora was born in Poland.
John’s maternal grandfather was Albert Lee Pick (the son of Rudolf/Rudolph Pick and Hermena/Hermina/Hermine Karpeles/Karpolis). Albert was born in Illinois, to Bohemian Jewish parents.
John’s maternal grandmother was Lillian Lyle Garfinkel/Levine (the daughter of Abraham Garfinkle and Amelia Vita Bleiweiss). Lillian was born in Illinois, to Polish Jewish parents. Amelia was born in Galicia, the daughter of Isaac Bleiweiss and Bessie Pencik.
Two people of Jewish heritage have been nominated for President of the United States by a major party. Barry Goldwater, nominated by the Republican Party in 1964, was the first (Goldwater was born to a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother, and was raised an Episcopalian). John Kerry, nominated by the Democratic Party in 2004, was the second (Kerry’s paternal grandparents were born Jewish, though Kerry’s father and Kerry himself were raised Catholic).
Joe Lieberman, who is Jewish, was nominated for Vice President of the United States by the Democratic Party in 2000.
Five people of Jewish heritage have won a major party’s Presidential caucus and/or primary:
*Barry Goldwater (1964, the year he was nominated; Republican; won 7 states; Goldwater also sought the 1960 Republican nomination)
*John Kerry (2004, the year he was nominated; Democratic; won 51 contests)
*Wesley Clark (who sought the 2004 Democratic nomination; won 1 state, Oklahoma; Clark was born to a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother, and is a practicing Catholic)
*Bernie Sanders (who sought the Democratic nomination in 2016 and 2020; in 2016, he won 23 contests; in 2020, he won 9 contests)
*Michael Bloomberg (who sought the 2020 Democratic nomination; won 1 territory, American Samoa)
Of the five, Bernie Sanders and Michael Bloomberg are Jewish by religion, and Sanders is the first person of Jewish religion to have won a caucus and/or primary for a major American political party’s Presidential nomination (the 2016 New Hampshire primary).
Other people of significant Jewish heritage who have mounted plausible or semi-plausible campaigns for a major party’s nomination for President of the United States are:
*Milton Shapp (who sought the 1976 Democratic nomination)
*Larry Agran (who sought the 1992 Democratic nomination)
*Arlen Specter (who sought the 1996 Republican nomination)
*Joe Lieberman (who sought the 2004 Democratic nomination)
*Fred Karger (who sought the 2012 Republican nomination)
*Marianne Williamson (who sought the 2020 Democratic nomination)
*Michael Bennet (who sought the 2020 Democratic nomination)
*Tom Steyer (who sought the 2020 Democratic nomination)
Shapp, Agran, Specter, Lieberman, Karger, and Williamson were/are all Jewish by religion. Bennet and Steyer were raised in mixed-faith households, Bennet with a Jewish mother and Steyer with a Jewish father. Shapp was the first person of Jewish religion to mount a prominent campaign for a major party’s nomination for President of the United States.
Kirsten Gillibrand, a Catholic with a Jewish great-grandfather, also sought the 2020 Democratic nomination.
Sources: Genealogy of John H. Cox – https://www.geni.com
Birth record of John’s mother – https://www.familysearch.org
John’s mother on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org
John’s maternal grandfather, Albert Lee Pick, on the 1900 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Obituary of John’s maternal grandfather, Albert Lee Pick – https://www.newspapers.com