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Ray MOORE Obituary

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MOORE, Ray Newsman for Five Decades Award- Winning Journalist Chronicled Historic Times In 1963, when President Kennedy was assassinated and reaction was pouring in from world leaders, NBC News wanted a reaction from arguably the most important human rights leader of the day - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. WSB- TV News Director and anchor Ray Moore scooped the nation because of his contacts with members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference who led him to Dr. King. Dr. King gave a dramatic interview in which he said he was not afraid of any threats to his own life: "I believe firmly that this cause is right - and that someone must have the courage and fortitude to stand up for it - even if it means suffering and even if it means death." In 1968, another of Moore's sources provided the tip that found the abandoned white Mustang of Dr. King's assassin in Atlanta that led to the arrest in London. Through the years, Moore interviewed local and national celebrities and leaders. Among them were legendary golfer Bobby Jones, poet Robert Frost, Billy Graham, and Robert Kennedy. Moore once tracked a fugitive down from Georgia to Missouri without leaving his desk, using just his phone. Moore chose to raise his family in Atlanta because he treasured them more than fame, even though he was asked to join NBC News several times as a correspondent. He was a genuine family man and a perfect example for his children. He was a man of faith, a Sunday school teacher and a lay preacher in the Methodist church for many years. Ray Moore was born in Elizabeth City, North Carolina in 1922 to newspaperman Raymond Moore, Sr. and his wife Helen. The senior Moore later moved the family back to his home, Orville, Ohio, where he was part owner of the town newspaper. It was there that young Ray Moore launched his career in journalism. During World War II, Moore served as a Tech-Sergeant in General Patton's Third Army and wrote the history for the 10th Armored Division, which was published in 1945 and is still available online. Attending Columbia University on the GI Bill, Moore earned a degree in history in three years. He moved to Atlanta to work at WSB Radio in 1951. He moved over to WSB-TV in 1952 as a news reporter and weatherman. His quick wit and humor soon won over his audience. Moore later became News Director and news anchor for WSB-TV. Starting in the 1970s, Moore also worked at WAGA-TV in Atlanta. He later left TV to help developers Scott Hudgens and Herman Russell create a planned community called Shenandoah near Newnan. In 1979, he became Director of Research Communications at Georgia Tech. While at Tech he was part of the Atlanta Organizing Committee (AOC) for the 1996 Olympics. He helped write, produce and narrate a video that helped Billy Payne's successful effort to host the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. In 1983, Moore returned to WSB-TV as noon news co-anchor while he continued to work at Georgia Tech. He formally retired from WSB-TV in 1992. Moore passed away peacefully on July 23, 2013. He is preceded in death by his parents, a sister Barbara, and a grandson Aaron. He is survived by his beloved wife, Sara; three sons and their wives: Russ (Mary Caroline) of Newnan, Steve (Carolyn) of Augusta and Bruce (Kim) of Memphis, Tennessee; step-children Lee Sears of Raleigh, North Carolina and Nat Sears of Alpharetta; and ten grandchildren: Joseph, Emily, Claire Marie, Ann, Andy, Cari, Nina, Caley, Connor, and Leah; and his sister, Helen Gerig, and her husband, Carl, of Ft. Myers, Florida. A memorial service will be held at Oak Grove United Methodist Church at 1722 Oak Grove Road, Decatur, GA 30033 on Saturday, July 27 at 3:00 prn, with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Oak Grove UMC or to The Salvation Army Metro Atlanta Area Command, 1190 W. Druid Hills Drive, Suite 150, Atlanta, GA 30329. A. S. Turner & Sons Funeral Home and Crematory.
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on July 26, 2013
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