April 16, 1923: Governor Arch Moore Born in Moundsville

Arch Moore

Arch Moore was born in Moundsville on April 16, 1923. During World War II, he was severely wounded in the face and had to learn to talk again during his long hospital recovery. The Republican was elected to the state legislature in 1952 and to Congress four years later.

In 1968, he was elected West Virginia’s 28th governor. Moore was one of the most skilled politicians and perhaps the most controversial governor in state history. He fired more than 2,600 striking highway workers while leading an expansive road-building campaign. He also helped settle a national coal strike, fought for teacher pay raises, and initiated a statewide kindergarten program.

After a change to the state constitution, he became the first governor in more than a century to serve two consecutive terms. He was elected to an unprecedented third term in 1984, but, with corruption allegations hanging over him, he lost his reelection to Gaston Caperton in 1988. In 1990, Moore was convicted on federal charges of mail and tax fraud, extortion, and obstruction of justice. He served three years in prison. Arch Moore died in 2015 at age 91.