Pioneer journalist dies at 75
On Friday evening, Philadelphia Association of Black Journalist (PABJ) and National Association of Black Journalist (NABJ) co-founder Acel Moore died at his Wyncote home.
In yet another loss to the Philadelphia journalism community, Moore’s death comes just after another titan in the business, J. Whyatt “Jerry” Mondesire, passed away in October of last year.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Moore served as an Army medic before becoming a copy clerk at the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1962, according to a statement released by the PABJ. Six years later, he became a reporter at the paper.
Moore later became an investigative reporter, editorial board member, and columnist, winning a Pulitzer Prize in 1977 for his investigations of harsh conditions at Farview State Hospital in Pennsylvania. He also became a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.
Moore retired from the Inquirer in 2005 and held the title of associate editor emeritus at the time of his death.
“I am deeply saddened to learn of the death of Acel Moore,” PABJ President Cherri Gregg, said in a statement released Saturday. “His shoulders are those on which we stand. Moore is legendary for the quality of his work and the veracity of his commitment to diversifying newsrooms. He was the standard-bearer for so many of us, a true trailblazer, mentor and friend. He believed in advocating for journalists of color, and his death underscores the need for PABJ to continue his legacy.”
Moore suffered from "a number of different ailments," his wife, Linda Wright Moore, told the Inquirer. Shortly before midnight "he was having serious difficulty breathing and his heart stopped."
According to the statement released by PABJ, Moore was a personal mentor to many journalists, including former PABJ president and current NABJ president, Sarah Glover.
“I’m heartbroken by the passing of my longtime mentor and friend Acel Moore,” Glover said Saturday. “He was a counselor and impacted the careers of hundreds of NABJ members. Moore left us a wonderful legacy as a humanitarian, truth seeker, fighter for equal opportunity and trailblazer who opened doors for countless journalists, especially those of color. We will honor his memory by continuing the fight for diversity in all newsrooms now more than ever.”
In addition to his wife, Moore is survived by his son, Acel Jr., a daughter, Mariah, a sister, Geraldine Fisher and his twin brother, Michael Moore.
Funeral services will be held next Monday at 11 a.m., according to the Daily News, at the Grace Baptist Church of Germantown, on Johnson Street near Germantown Avenue. A viewing will be from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m.