Fletcher Cox’s Mother Melissa Cox Bright: A Super Mom

By NoahPublished on: August 29, 2023 Updated on: January 31, 2024
Birthday November 4, 1964
Birthplace Canton, Mississippi
Age 59 years
Son Fletcher Cox
Table of Content Show

Melissa Cox Bright is the mother of Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle and Super Bowl Champion, Fletcher Cox. She single-handedly raised Fletcher and turned him into the big football player that he is today.

Nevertheless, it wasn’t all easy in the beginning. In fact, Cox had an incredibly difficult past as a single mom to four children and worked a long-hour job to make ends meet. To add to that, Melissa lost one of her sons. Fortunately, with her NFL star son Fletcher’s success, her present has been much better.

Read till the end to know all about her journey from a difficult past to a better present.

Key Takeaways

  • Fletcher Cox’s mom Melissa Cox Bright was a single mom to four children.
  • She raised her children in a three-bedroom trailer in Mississippi.
  • Melissa lost her eldest son Shaddrick when he was only 34 years old.
  • She didn’t want her son Fletcher to play football originally but later changed her mind.
  • Her son Fletcher Cox has been playing for the Philadelphia Eagles since 2012 as a defensive tackle.

Who Is Fletcher Cox’s Mother? Melissa Cox’s Birth And Family Details

Fletcher Cox’s mother Melissa Cox was born on November 4th, 1964 in Canton, Mississippi to Jimmie Lee Cox Hankins and her husband. In the early 1980s, Melissa, alongside her parents moved to Yazoo City where she spent the major portion of her childhood.

Melissa has not revealed about her parents and siblings on social media. She has only posted pictures of herself on Facebook and likes to keep things private.

Who Is Her Husband?

Currently, she is not married to anyone so there’s no question of having a husband. In the past, Melissa was in a relationship with Walter Gainwell Sr., although it is not clear if they married or not. Together, they welcomed four children: Shaddrick, Fletcher, Fantasia, and Nakeia.

The relationship between Walter and Melissa wasn’t built to last and they broke up soon. Melissa got full custody of her children. While it’s not known if the former flames are on good terms or not, we do know that Walter Sr is in good harmony with his son Fletcher.

Besides, after breaking up with Cox, Walter was married to Cynthia Nushelle Johnson-Gainwell. Walter had two children with Cynthia: Walter Gainwell Jr. who also passed away on October 1, 2020, and Destiny Gainwell.

Melissa Cox Bright Is A Mother Of Four

Melissa’s eldest son Shaddrick Cox, Fletcher’s elder brother, was born on 26 October 1980 in Yazoo City, Mississippi. Without a father in the family, her eldest child Shaddrick had to grow up quickly and be the man of the house. He worked as a car mechanic and had a strong liking for cars.

Melissa gave birth to her NFL star son Fletcher Cox on December 13, 1990, in Yazoo City, Mississippi. Fletcher Cox played college football at Mississippi State and his football career shaped up from that point. First drafted by the Eagles in the 2012 NFL Draft, he has been named to the Pro Bowl six times, and he won the Super Bowl in the 2017 season.

She is also the mother of two daughters: Fantasia and Nakeia. Fletcher’s elder sister Nakeia Cox works as a Quality Assurance Engineer at Peco Foods, Canton, Mississippi. While Fantasia Cox, Fletcher’s twin sister, works at Nissan.

Melissa Is A Super Mom: Being A Single Mom Wasn’t Easy!

Without a husband, Melissa had to earn money and take care of her four children all by herself. Her ex-partner Walter was never around and that’s why she had to raise her children in a three-bedroom trailer in Mississippi.

She worked as a supplier for a Nissan dealership to make ends meet. Her shift ran from 2 p.m. to 12:30 p.m., which meant that she missed after-school activities and barely got to see the kids.

Melissa later switched to the morning shift that began before her kids woke up from their beds. Fletcher Cox told The Washington Post, “I come from nothing.” It’s needless to say that Cox struggled a lot economically and mentally.

Melissa Cox Lost One of Her Sons

On January 5, 2015, her son Shaddrick was in the midst of acquiring a 1999 two-door Chevrolet Tahoe. Being a skilled mechanic and a devoted car enthusiast, he had been keeping his gaze fixed on that particular SUV for a while.

However, just before he could take it for a spin, he experienced a heart attack. He had been suffering from heart disease for several years and was also working to keep his diabetes in check.

Shaddrick Cox with Fletcher Cox
Shaddrick Cox (right, deceased) with his brother Fletcher Cox (left).

A week later, on January 12, 2015, Shaddrick passed away. Fletcher’s mom was devastated by this loss. Shaddrick was her man-child and a lovable person. But she had to realize that everyone has to live on life’s terms. And she slowly dealt with it.

Fletcher Cox’s Mother Didn’t Want Him To Play Football?

Originally, Fletcher’s mom Melissa didn’t want him to play football. As Fletcher told the Eagles website, she wanted him to play basketball instead. But Fletcher’s passion for football conquered everything else and he started playing football soon after his physical exams.

Sometime later, she also supported his decision to become an NFL player. She tried to go to as many games as she could. Funnily, for the first couple of games, she would reach the stadium five to ten minutes late.

Fletcher Cox and mom Malissa
Melissa Cox Bright with her NFL star son Fletcher Cox.

One day, when Fletcher was on his way home after a game said to his mother, “Mom, why can’t you ever be on time for the games?” Her presence in the game meant a lot to him. So from the next day, she never missed a game and sat at the same exact seat where her son could see her.

Her Son Fletcher Cox’s Success

Fletcher played college football at Mississippi State. He was drafted by the Eagles in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. From 2012 to now, he has been selected to the Pro Bowl six times. To add to that, he also became a Super Bowl champion when the Philadelphia Eagles lifted the trophy in 2017.

NFL Player Fletcher Cox
Fletcher Cox playing for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Fletcher’s success in the NFL earned him fame and wealth. In 2016, when he signed a six-year contract worth $103 million, he was guaranteed nearly $63 million. This amount of money was something he could only dream about growing up.

So, the first thing he did was to buy his mother a new car, a 2016 Yukon Denali.

Melissa Cox’s Net Worth

Although we have no details on Melissa’s exact net worth, her son Fletcher Cox has an estimated net worth of $30 million.

With her son earning big, it is safe to say that Melissa can have whatever she wants!

About Author: Noah

Noah is an avid fan of NFL. If there's a game going on, he will watch it. Apart from watching games, he likes writing articles on NFL players, their family and WAGs.