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Top lawyer remembered for service

George Moore, 67, dies of cancer

George Moore. | COURTESY TEMPLE

George Moore. | COURTESY TEMPLE

George Moore, Temple’s Senior Vice President, head legal counsel, secretary to the Board of Trustees and former law professor, died of pancreatic cancer on March 2 at 67 years old. He was honored at a service held on March 9 in the Temple Performing Arts Center.

As legal counsel, Moore advised four university presidents and dozens of trustees on multiple aspects of the law, including corporate governance, policy development and law interpretation.

Moore became the university counsel in 1989 and Board of Trustees secretary in 1992. He was appointed senior vice president in 2007. From 1990 to 2007, he was an adjunct professor in the Beasley School of Law. His Temple career lasted 25 years.

Moore was born on Nov. 14, 1946 and grew up in Robertsville, Pa., a village near Punxsutawney in Jefferson County. From an Italian-Catholic family, Moore had 28 first cousins, several of whom lived in Robertsville. In high school, he was valedictorian and played football.

In 1968, Moore graduated from Dartmouth College, an Ivy League school in New Hampshire. While attending Dartmouth he lived the “hippie” lifestyle; he grew his hair long, rode a Harley Davidson motorcycle, made silver jewelry and spoke out against the Vietnam War, Moore’s cousin Joseph Roberts said.

“Punxsutawney is a quiet, family-oriented town, so that was a big deal,” Roberts said in a speech at the service.

Moore graduated from Temple Law School in 1976, receiving his degree magna cum laude. He then moved on to Ballard Spahr LLP, a national law firm, where he spent 13 years as an associate and later a partner.  Though he eventually moved back to Temple, he remained close with his former coworkers at Ballard.

Joe H. Tucker Jr., now a managing partner at Tucker Law Group, said that Moore was the first person to give him a chance. After Tucker, a 1989 Temple Law graduate, quit his job at a national law firm where he had worked for four years, he was “practicing law out of his kitchen,” he said in his speech at the service.

Moore decided to give Tucker work and since few African Americans were Philadelphia lawyers at the time, Moore was helping to set precedent. Tucker told those gathered that Moore once said, “Unless someone changes the course, it’ll never change.”

“If someone was going to upset the status quo, it was going to be him,” Tucker said of Moore.

As university counsel, Moore was known to have a quick memory and deep understanding of the laws that applied to Temple.

“He was able to recall a single phrase he had written in a document 10 years ago,” Assistant Board of Trustees Secretary Janet Carruth said in her speech at the service.

Moore was a devoted Temple sports fan. “At games, George was always cheering, and his voice got hoarser and hoarser,” Board of Trustees Chairman Patrick O’Connor said in his speech at the service.

He was also a frequent griller and wine connoisseur. Moore was known for making cheese sausages on the grill and sharing them among the people he invited to his tailgates, which included Temple people from office workers to administrators.

“But God forbid you ask him for a burger cooked medium or well done,” Carruth said. “If you did, he’d just pick any one, give it to you, and say ‘Here, just the way you want it.’”

Moore shared his wit with his children as well. “When I was in third grade, I asked him about DARE [Drug Abuse Resistance Education]. He said I should suggest to my teacher that the name be changed Drugs Are Really Excellent,” Moore’s daughter Emily, 31, said in her speech at the service. “He didn’t want me to do drugs. He wanted to encourage me to think outside the box.”

Moore is survived by his wife Jennifer, his daughters Emily and Jenna, his sons Sam and Nick, sister Diane and numerous cousins. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Temple, where they will go to international studies, scholarships and the schools of art and law.

Joe Brandt can be reached at joseph.brandt@temple.edu or on Twitter @JBrandt_TU.

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