Daniel Killian Moore

60th Governor of the State of North Carolina - 1965 to 1969

Date Born: April 2, 1906

Date Died: September 7, 1986

Place Born: Asheville, NC

Place Buried: Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh, NC

Residence: Sylva, NC

Occupation: Lawyer


Daniel Killian Moore was born on April 2, 1906 in Asheville, NC, the son of Fred Moore and Leila Lena (Enloe) Moore. After his father died when he was but two years old, his mother moved the family to Jackson County. In 1927, he graduated from the University of North Carolina with a business degree and then for a year studied law in Chapel Hill.

On May 4, 1933, Daniel Killian Moore married Jeanelle Coulter of Pikeville, TN; they had two children.

From 1931 to 1933, Daniel Killian Moore was Attorney for Jackson County and for twelve years he was the Attorney for the local school board.

In the 1940 General Election, Daniel Killian Moore was elected to represent Jackson County in the NC House of Representatives of the:
- 114th General Assembly that met in 1941

In 1943, Daniel Killian Moore volunteered in a U.S. Army medical unit, and served as a paratrooper in Europe.

After his return from the war, in 1945, Daniel Killian Moore was elected as Solicitor in Jackson County.

In 1948, Gov. Robert Gregg Cherry appointed Daniel Killian Moore to the NC Superior Court. Two years later Judge Moore was elected to a full term and served until his resignation in 1958.

In 1958, Daniel Killian Moore moved to Canton, NC and became Counsel and Assistant Secretary of Champion Papers.

In the 1964 general election, Daniel Killian Moore was elected by the people as the next Governor of North Carolina, and he served one term from January 8, 1965 to January 3, 1969. Gov. Moore's agenda included a $300 million road bonds package approved by voters in 1965, increased teacher and state employee salaries, court-ordered re-apportionment of legislative and congressional districts, institution in 1967 of “brown-bagging” as opposed to liquor by the drink, an emphasis on highway safety, and creation of a Law and Order Committee to deal with racial unrest. Following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, Gov. Moore deployed the National Guard and Highway Patrol to curb violence. During his administration Charlotte College became the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, the School of the Arts opened, a zoo study commission was created, the State Court of Appeals was established, and the first state welcome centers were built.

After his term as governor, Daniel Killian Moore joined a Raleigh law firm.

In 1969, Gov. Robert Walter Scott appointed Daniel Killian Moore as an Associate Justice on the NC Supreme Court. He was elected to a full term in 1970 and served until 1978.

In 1979, Gov. James B. Hunt, Jr. named Daniel Killian Moore to chair a commission on transportation needs and financing, a board which recommended a motor fuels tax increase later approved by the legislature.

Daniel Killian Moore died on September 7, 1986, and he was buried in the Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh, NC.


Daniel Killian Moore (April 2, 1906 – September 7, 1986) was the Democratic governor of the state of North Carolina from 1965 to 1969. Born in Asheville, North Carolina, Moore earned undergraduate and law degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He practiced law in Sylva, NC and served a term in the NC House of Representatives in 1941 before entering the US Army in World War II. After the war, Moore served as a NC Superior Court judge from 1948 to 1958. Subsequently, Moore served as counsel for the Champion Papers company in Canton, North Carolina, while also serving on the state Board of Water Resources. He left Champion to run for Governor in 1964. He was seen as the moderate in the Democratic primary, between the conservative I. Beverly Lake, Sr. and the more progressive L. Richardson Preyer. Moore won a primary runoff with Preyer.

After serving one term as governor (governors were not then eligible to be re-elected), Moore's successor, Governor Robert W. Scott, appointed him to the North Carolina Supreme Court, the first governor of North Carolina to be so honored. He served on the Court from November 20, 1969 until December 31, 1978.

At the 1968 Democratic National Convention Moore received 17-1/2 votes for president on the first ballot, finishing fifth behind Vice President Hubert Humphrey (1,760 1/2), Sen. Eugene McCarthy (601), Sen. George McGovern (146 1/2), and Rev. Channing E. Phillips (67 1/2). Moore received 12 of North Carolina's 59 votes, 3 from Virginia, 2 from Georgia and 1/2 vote from Alabama.


Daniel Killian Moore was born in Asheville, North CC, on April 2, 1906, and he grew up in Sylva. He graduated from University of North Carolina (UNC) in 1927 with a B.S. in commerce and attended the UNC School of Law. After graduating from law school in 1929, he returned to Sylva, established a private law practice and was named County Attorney. In 1941, he was elected to the state legislature. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army medical unit as a paratrooper in the European Theatre. In 1948 Moore was appointed a Superior Court judge by Gov. Robert Gregg Cherry. He held the post for 10 years and then became division Counsel for Champion Papers Inc. in Canton. Soon after, he was named Assistant Secretary of the firm. In 1964, he left Champion and successfully ran for governor. Moore headed a quiet administration during a turbulent period. During his term from 1965 to 1969, legislation passed giving teachers the largest pay increase in the state's history. He led a successful campaign for a $300-million highway bond issue, strongly supported the Good Neighbor Council for better race relations, helped create the State Court of Appeals, worked to repeal the Speaker Ban Law passed during the previous session of the General Assembly, activated study commissions for good government, eliminated high school textbook fees, and brought more than $8 billion in new and expanded industry to North Carolina. During his tenure, Governor Moore chaired the Southern Governors' Conference from 1967 to 1968. After leaving office, Moore entered private law practice in Raleigh, but he soon was asked by Gov. Bob Scott to fill a vacancy on the NC Supreme Court, where he served until 1978. He then returned to private law practice with the Raleigh firm of Moore, Ragsdale, Liggett, Ray & Foley, P.A. until his death on September 7, 1986.

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