Black Pioneers: Edward Moore Jr.

Edward Moore Jr.
Photo courtesy of the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame.

Edward Moore Jr. is a retired vice admiral who served in the U.S. Navy. At the time of his retirement, he was the highest-ranking African American in the U.S. Navy. Moore was born on this date in 1945 in New York City. He is the eldest child of Edward Moore Sr. and Freddie Mardell Hayes Moore, with two brothers and a sister. The family eventually moved to Little Rock where Moore graduated from Horace Mann High School in 1963, according to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas.

On April 2, two months before his high school graduation, Moore enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserve. The day after his high school graduation, he departed Little Rock for recruit training in San Diego, Calif. While in training, Moore was accepted into the Reserve Officer Candidate program. As part of this program, he began college at Southern Illinois University after completing his training in August 1963. A full-time student, Moore was required to maintain satisfactory reserve status while in school, including regular drills and annual active duty periods; during these periods, Moore served on the USS Hyman and USS Woodson. He graduated with a degree in psychology and received his commission as an ensign in 1968.

Moore was immediately assigned to a ship, the fleet oiler USS Severn, in June 1968. He married Deborah Cooper in Champaign, Ill., on Dec. 24, 1969. Moore was promoted to lieutenant in December 1970. Moore served as the executive officer of the USS Buchanan, a destroyer, from 1978 to 1979. He was promoted to commander in December 1979.

From 1993 to 1995, Moore served as the commandant, Naval District, Washington D.C. He returned to sea in 1995 as the commander of the USS Carl Vinson Task Group and commander of Cruiser Destroyer Group Three. It was tasked with enforcing the no-fly zone over southern Iraq and also launched missile strikes against military sites in the country in September 1996. In July 1996, Moore was promoted to rear admiral (upper half).

In 1997, Moore returned to Washington, where he served as the assistant deputy chief of Naval Operations, Plans, Policy, and Operations, and director of the Strategy and Policy Division, Chief of Naval Operations Staff. During this period, Moore was also the Naval Operations deputy representative to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In August 1998, Moore was promoted to vice admiral and became the commander of the Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet. He held this position until May 2001 and retired from the navy in July.

After retiring from active service, Moore served as a vice president at the Anteon International Corporation, a defense contractor, until 2006. That year, the company was bought by General Dynamics, and Moore served as its vice president of navy services until January 2012.

He was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 1999. Moore and his wife have four adult children: three daughters and a son. They reside in California.