Dave Mistich Published

Former Gov. Arch Moore Passes Away at 91

Arch Moore

Former West Virginia Governor Arch A. Moore, Jr. has passed away. He was 91.

His death comes just one day after the swearing in of his daughter, Shelley Moore Capito, as West Virginia’s first woman to serve in the U.S. Senate. 

Moore served as West Virginia’s Governor for three terms. First from 1969 to 1977 and again from 1985 to 1989. He also served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1957 to 1969.

According to a news release from Capito and her siblings, Moore passed away Wednesday evening in Charleston while surrounded by family.

“To call our father a source of inspiration would be an understatement. He was — and will continue to be — the force that drives us and our families each and every day,” said Capito and her siblings in the release.

“Dad loved the state of West Virginia as if it were a member of our family.”

Moore’s political life was also marred by controversy. According to The New York Times, Moore plead guilty in 1990 to charges of extortion, mail and tax fraud and obstruction of justice. For those offenses, he served two years in federal prison. 



Moore is survived by his daughter, Capito, his son Arch A. Moore III, and daughter Lucy Moore Durbin. His wife, Shelley S. Riley, died in September 2014.

Condolences on Moore’s passing began coming in from West Virginia’s political community shortly after news of his death had begun to circulate:


Governor Earl Ray Tomblin:

"Governor Moore was a towering figure in West Virginia who during his three terms worked with both Democrats and Republicans to accomplish many things to help move our state forward. I enjoyed working with him during my legislative career and appreciated his ability to negotiate and find common ground. Joanne and I extend our sympathies to Senator Shelley Moore Capito and the entire Moore family."  


Senator Joe Manchin: 

“Gayle and I are truly saddened to learn of the passing of Governor Arch A. Moore. We send our deepest condolences to our friends Shelley, Lucy, and Arch III as well as their families as they go through this difficult time. Arch was a true political force in West Virginia. Gayle and I join all West Virginians in keeping the Moore family in our thoughts and prayers during these painful days of mourning and memory.”

West Virginia Republican Party Chairman Conrad Lucas:

"Governor Moore was the pioneer and courageous hero who West Virginia needed to advance us during some of our most harsh times.  His entire life was dedicated to our state and nation. With his daughter Senator Shelley Moore Capito's swearing-in to the United States Senate, Governor Moore lived to see his legacy reach the highest ranks of our republic. The man simply known as 'Arch' to all West Virginians was so much more than any other elected official has ever been to our state.  He was a statesman, soldier, patriot, leader and a legend.  No one who met Governor Moore will ever forget the impact he had on them individually or our state as a whole.  Governor Moore often faced incredible political odds and showed what was possible.   Governor Moore was a master legislator and executive and will always be remembered as someone with perhaps the greatest political skills in West Virginia history. Earlier this year we lost Governor Moore's beloved wife Shelley Riley Moore.  Once again, we stand with the first family of the West Virginia Republican Party in mourning their loss.  Today, a state, nation and Party gather in grief.  Our hearts go out to Senator Capito and the entire Moore family.  We love them all and will forever miss Governor Arch Moore."