Courteney Cox was raised in Mountain Brook, Alabama, a suburb of Birmingham, the daughter of businessman Richard Lewis Cox (January 28, 1931 – September 3, 2001) and his wife Courteney (née Bass, later Copeland).
She has two older sisters, Virginia and Dottie, and an older brother, Richard, Jr. Her parents divorced in 1974 and her mother then married businessman Hunter Copeland (uncle to music promoter and business manager Ian Copeland). After graduating from Mountain Brook High School, Cox left for Mount Vernon College in Washington, D.C., but did not complete her architecture course, opting instead to pursue a career in modeling and acting.
Cox is of English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish and German ancestry.