Ambassador Sam and Marilyn Fox

Ambassador Sam Fox, BSBA51, and Marilyn Fox

For more than three decades, St. Louisans and people around the country have benefited from the civic leadership and philanthropy of Sam and Marilyn Fox.

A native of Desloge, Missouri, Sam Fox graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 1951 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. In 1976, he founded Harbour Group, Ltd., a privately owned company that specializes in the acquisition and development of high-quality companies for long-term investment. From 2007 to 2009, he served as U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium. In 2012, he became only the third American to receive The Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown—Belgium’s highest award for public service—presented to him at the behest of King Albert II.

Ambassador Fox serves or has served on the boards of the Arts & Education Council, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Saint Louis Science Center, Saint Louis Zoo, and Civic Progress, an organization of St. Louis' most prominent civic leaders, among others. He is the former chairman and president of the Greater St. Louis Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America and the former president of the Board of Commissioners of the Saint Louis Art Museum. In 2003, he served as chairman of the United Way of Greater St. Louis' charitable campaign.

Since 1989, Ambassador Fox has served on Washington University’s Board of Trustees, including two years as vice chairman, and currently serves on the executive committee. In 2004 he was elected a lifetime voting trustee, a rare honor. He also served as chairman of the public phase of the Campaign for Washington University from 1998-2004, which raised more than $1.5 billion. In 2006, when the Schools of Art and Architecture were joined together, the University named the newly established School of Design & Visual Arts in his honor for his longtime service and support.

Sam and Marilyn Fox have helped thousands of people through the Fox Family Foundation, which they established with their five children, and which annually donates to hundreds of organizations addressing basic human needs such as food and shelter.

Marilyn Fox, née Widman, grew up in University City, Missouri, and has been active in more than a dozen organizations, including the Old Newsboys' children's charity, the Girl Scouts, the Jewish Federation, and the Missouri Historical Society. Three organizations that have especially stood out for her are Webster University, where she has long served on the board; the Jewish Community Center, where she was the first woman president; and Variety the Children’s Charity St. Louis, where she has chaired the annual gala for 20 years.

Separately and together, Sam and Marilyn Fox have received many honors. In 2003, Ambassador Fox was named the St. Louis Citizen of the Year by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. That same year he received the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship, a national award given to executives who have shown deep concern for the common good. He also was given the highest award
a foreign business leader can receive from the People's Republic of China, the Marco Polo Award, in recognition of his company's role in China's economic development and his humanitarian contributions. Washington University awarded Sam Fox an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 2002, and awarded Marilyn Fox an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree in 2013. She has also been recognized with the St. Louis Woman of Achievement award; the Woman of the Year Award from Variety the Children’s Charity St. Louis; the Wetterau Old Newsboys' Day Lifetime Achievement Award; the National Council of Community and Justice Brotherhood Sisterhood Award; and the YWCA Leader of Distinction Award.

Jointly, Sam and Marilyn Fox have received honorary public service degrees from Saint Louis University, the Jane and Whitney Harris Saint Louis Community Service Award, and the Excellence in Philanthropy Award from the Arts and Education Council.