Hugh Moore

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Biography of Hugh Moore

"Hugh Moore (1887-1972) was an industrialist, philanthropist, and perennial organizer. Born in Kansas on April 27, 1887 and raised in Missouri, Moore attended but did not graduate from Harvard (he is considered a member of the Class of 1907). At the age of 21 Moore, and his brother-in-law went to New York City to promote the idea of a sanitary paper drinking cup to replace the “common cup” that could be found in train stations, hospitals, and other public venues. Encountering much initial skepticism, Moore and his brother-in-law soon won over a group of investors by writing letters on Waldorf-Astoria Hotel stationery. With the help of W. T. Graham, President of the American Can Co., and other investors, Moore and his brother-in-law founded the Dixie Cup Corporation. In 1957 he sold Dixie Cup to the American Can Company, and began to devote his efforts entirely to the causes of world population and world peace, in which he had already taken a great deal of interest. He continued to be active in directing the work of the Hugh Moore Fund until his death in 1972.

"Moore established The Hugh Moore Fund in 1944 with the specific goal of promoting world peace. His conception of world peace was broad, as can be seen from the materials in this collection relating to the United Nations and NATO on international, national and local levels. However, Moore's most important contribution to the understanding of the concept of world peace was his insistence that population be an element of the definition of world peace, and that it be a factor in issues relating to international relations. An overpopulated, underfed, and undereducated world was a world in which peace could not exist, at least not equally for all, he believed. Moore has consistently been characterized as ahead of his time in this matter. His pamphlet, The Population Bomb, published in the early 1950s, dealt with “population control” issues that were considered taboo at the time, and coined the phrase “population explosion” as a warning that the world would “breed itself to death.” Birth control, for example, was not a topic spoken of nor acknowledged by the general public, neither was euthanasia. However, Moore was deeply concerned about both of these issues, and continued to address them despite a great deal of opposition voiced by many experts in the field of population studies. John D. Rockefeller III, chair of The Population Council considered Moore's publication of The Population Bomb a mistake and thought that it would create general panic." [1]

His wife was Louise W. Moore.

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  1. Hugh Moore Fund Collection, 1922-1972 (bulk 1939-1970): Finding Aid,, accessed September 28, 2011.