In Memoriam: Mecklenburg County Remembers Former County Manager Gerald G. ‘Jerry’ Fox

A pillar of Mecklenburg County government and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community has died. Former County Manager Gerald G. “Jerry” Fox passed away on Wednesday, March 27, 2024, at the age of 91. 

Jerry Fox served as Mecklenburg County manager from 1980 to 2000. Over a public service career spanning more than 50 years, Fox earned local, state, and national recognition as an effective public leader. He was a key figure in the transformation of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, and in the building of a world-class government workforce.

“Jerry Fox was a driving force for progress in Mecklenburg County during his 20-year tenure as manager,” said Dena R. Diorio, Mecklenburg County manager. “It was a period of dramatic change in our community, from the rapid growth in population and evolution into a world-class community, to the many technological advances that Mecklenburg County came to embrace. He was a source of encouragement to me as County manager. I am continually inspired by his dedication to the betterment of our community and by the passion with which he led Mecklenburg County’s growing force of talented employees.”

Following Fox’s retirement from Mecklenburg County, he served as an instructor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, interim County manager for Gaston County, interim executive director of the North Carolina Dance Theater, and interim executive director of the Community School of the Arts. 

In 2012, the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program at UNC Charlotte was named in honor of Fox. At an MPA alumni event in 2019, Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners Chair George Dunlap presented a proclamation declaring Aug. 1, 2019, “Jerry Fox Day” in Mecklenburg County. Also, Mecklenburg County’s Foxhole Disposal and Recycling Center was planned during his tenure and is named in his honor.

Fox received his undergraduate degree from Beloit College in Wisconsin and master’s degree in public administration from the University of Kansas. Before arriving in Mecklenburg County in 1980, Fox served in a variety of government administrative roles, including City manager of Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Wichita Falls, Texas. Fox was predeceased by his wife of 57 years, Delores (Dee) Condon Fox, in 2015.