COTTON, JACK (1903–1964), British businessman. Born in Birmingham, Cotton became an estate agent in that city in the 1920s, and, after World War ii, emerged as probably the best-known figure in the world of English property development. Realizing the enormous demand that peace would bring for homes and offices, he secured financing for major projects by giving a share in the development of properties to big companies which owned the land, especially banks and insurance firms. Cotton's City Centre Properties developed the Bull Ring area in central Birmingham and many areas of central London as well as the Pan Am Building adjacent to Grand Central Station in New York. A loyal Jew and Zionist, Cotton was vice president of the largest Birmingham Orthodox synagogue and donated three chairs to Israeli universities; he also funded the building of the Cotton Terraces at London Zoo.
O. Marriott, The Property Boom (1967); odnb online; dbb, i, 796–99.
[William D. Rubinstein (2nd ed.)]