Charles Moore, Jr is an Olympic champion (1952, Helsinki), author, philanthropist and a 1990 NYAC Hall of Fame inductee.
Moore was born on August 12, 1929, in Coatesville, PA. He attended Mercersburg Academy, a private preparatory boarding school in Mercersburg, PA. His father, Charles Moore, Sr, was also a graduate of Mercersburg Academy and qualified for the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris as an alternate for hurdling events.
Moore was among the first athletes to take 13 strides between each hurdle, a technique that is now regarded as optimal. As a beginner, Moore found the 15 stride technique to be very challenging. As a taller man, he was about 6’, Moore realized that he could get more power by taking fewer strides.
In 1949, Moore won the 440 yards at the NCAA outdoor championships. Moore won four consecutive national championships in the 400m hurdles, between 1949 and 1952, inclusive. Moore won the 1952 Olympic trials convincingly, and the New York Times wrote that he was “the best of all United States bets for an Olympic title at Helsinki.”
Despite the poor conditions of the track – torrential rain had drenched the grounds – Moore nonetheless ran a spectacular race. By the fifth hurdle, Moore pulled away from the rest of the field. He won the race with a time of 50.8, an Olympic record, and only two tenths of a second shy of a world record. Moore also competed on the 4x400m relay team, winning the silver medal with a time of 3:04. That year, he finished second in voting for the Sullivan Award, losing out to fellow NYAC Olympic champion Horace Ashenfelter.
After his outstanding performance in Helsinki, Moore officially retired from competition in 1952. He then began a long career as a business executive and a philanthropist. Moore turned down many lucrative job offers, opting instead to work for his family’s steel forging business.
In 1994, Moore accepted a position at Cornell as the University’s athletic director. He held that position for five years, during which time he made great strides in updating the University’s athletic facilities.
In March 2017, Moore published a memoir titled, “Running on Purpose: Winning Olympic Gold, Advancing Corporate Leadership and Creating Sustainable Value.” The book details his career in athletics, business and philanthropy.