Former longtime federal judge in Wilmington dies at 90

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Hon. James C. Fox (Photo courtesy of Andrews Mortuary and Crematory Market Street Chapel - Wilmington)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A longtime federal judge who served in Wilmington has died.

According to his obituary, Judge James C. Fox died at his Wilmington home Saturday. Judge Fox was 90.

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President Ronald Reagan appointed Judge Fox to the US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina in 1982. He served until his retirement in 2017.

“Over the years of his service on the bench, federal prosecutors in this district knew Judge Fox to be a keen student of the law, and dedicated to its firm and fair enforcement,” US Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina Robert Higdon said in a statement. “He expected the highest standards of ethics and professionalism in his court and any attorney who appeared before him was the better for the experience. He deeply loved the people and places in the Eastern District and worked hard to ensure their business was well-handled in federal court. He will be greatly missed.”

Judge Fox is survived by his wife of 68 years, Kate, three children, nine grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.



Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 2 p.m. at St. James Episcopal Church in Wilmington followed by burial at Oakdale Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to St. James Episcopal Church Foundation or to Lower Cape Fear Hospice.