Arch Moore

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Arch Alfred Moore, Jr.

28th and 30th Governor of West Virginia
In office
January 14, 1985 – January 16, 1989
Preceded by Jay Rockefeller
Succeeded by Gaston Caperton
In office
January 13, 1969 – January 17, 1977
Preceded by Warren E. Hearnes
Succeeded by Jay Rockefeller

In office
September 12, 1971 – June 4, 1972
Succeeded by Marvin Mandel

U.S. Representative
for West Virginia's
1st Congressional District
In office
January 3, 1957 – January 3, 1969
Preceded by Bob Mollohan
Succeeded by Bob Mollohan

Born April 16, 1923
Moundsville, West Virginia
Died January 7, 2015 (aged 91)
Charleston, West Virginia
Resting place Riverview Cemetery in Moundsville
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Shelley Riley Moore (married 1949–2014, her death)
Children Three children, including:

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito

Alma mater Lafayette College
(Easton, Pennsylvania)
West Virginia University in Morgantown
(Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws)
Occupation Attorney

Military Service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1943–1946
Rank Sergeant
Unit 334th Infantry Regiment, 84th Infantry Division
Battles/wars European Theater of Operations in World War II
Awards Bronze Star
Purple Heart
Combat Infantry Badge
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Ribbon
European Theater of Operations Ribbon
Three battle stars

Arch Alfred Moore, Jr. (April 16, 1923 – January 7, 2015), was an attorney and Republican politician from his native West Virginia. His political career began as a state representative elected in 1952 even though Dwight Eisenhower lost the state to Democrat Adlai Stevenson of Illinois. He was elected as the 28th (1969–1977) (with Richard M. Nixon's two successful national campaigns) and 30th Governor (1985–1989) of West Virginia, when he was elected to a third term along with Ronald Reagan's candidacy for reelection. With three terms, he is the longest-serving West Virginia governor. He is the father of current United States Senator Shelley Moore Capito, also a Moderate Republican.

Facing mounting legal problems, Moore lost his bid for a third term in 1988 to the Democrat Gaston Caperton. He was eventually prosecuted for and pleaded guilty to five felony charges. In 1990 he was sentenced to five years and ten months in prison. He served over three years at the federal institution in Petersburg, Virginia, until his release. As a result of his conviction, Moore was disbarred and forfeited his state gubernatorial pension.[1] In 1995, Moore paid a settlement of $750,000 to the state.

Life and career

Moore was born in Moundsville in Marshall County in the West Virginia industrial northern panhandle along the Ohio River, the son of Arch Moore, Sr. (1897–1980), and the former Genevieve Jones (1900–1984).[2] His grandfather, Forest Taylor Moore (1859–1950) was a ten-term state representative and minority leader in the West Virginia House. An uncle, Everett Franklin Moore (1885–1965), was Arch Moore's law partner who also served in the state legislature.[3]

Moore excelled at basketball while attending Moundsville High School. Upon graduation, he worked in a factory and on an oil pipeline. He was a highly-decorated sergeant in the United States Army during World War II. He received his bachelor's and law degrees from West Virginia University in Morgantown.

Moore served a dozen years in the United States House of Representatives, in which capacity he was a strong supporter of civil rights legislation in 1957, 1960, 1964, and 1968. He also supported the Voting Rights Act of 1965. As governor, Moore established the Department of Highways and the Board of Regents to supervise the operation of state colleges and universities.[2]

He was a member of the Select Committee on Small Business.[4] Also known as the Patman Committee, it investigated tax-exempt foundations and took up a suggestion made by the Cox Committee to determine whether foundations used their privileges for the purpose of tax evasion.[5]

Term-limited from running for governor in 1976, he rebounded in 1978, when he came within some four thousand votes of unseating the popular but aged Democratic U.S. Senator Jennings Randolph, a pro-life liberal.

Moore died at the age of ninety-one of dementia and heart-related problems. He is interred along with his wife and other family members at Riverview Cemetery in Moundsville.[2]


  1. Ex-W. Virginia Governor Sentenced to 5 Years and Fined. Los Angeles Times (July 11, 1990). Retrieved on September 10, 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Arch Alfred Moore Jr. (1923-2015) - Find A Grave Memorial, accessed September 10, 2021.
  3. Richard Grimes (January 24, 2017). Arch Moore. The West Virginia Encyclopedia. Retrieved on September 10, 2021.
  5. Samson, Steven Alan. Charity For All: B. Carroll Reece and the Tax-Exempt Foundations. Liberty University. Retrieved September 24, 2021.