Paul “Earthquake” Moore Passes Away

Remembering Paul “Earthquake” Moore’s unique presence in Southwest (clockwise from upper left):  Church pastor; “Community Claus” for kids; cancer survivor & fundraiser; activist on key political issues; joyful supporter of public programs; community service leader; activist.
Remembering Paul “Earthquake” Moore’s unique presence in Southwest (clockwise from upper left): Church pastor; “Community Claus” for kids; cancer survivor & fundraiser; activist on key political issues; joyful supporter of public programs; community service leader; activist.

SW’s beloved activist finally succumbs to cancer

Paul “Earthquake” Moore has just passed away, fighting the last round in his bout against cancer.  His wonderfully broad range of community service was captured in a reflection by State Representative Joanna McClinton, “I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our community hero Rev. Paul “Earthquake” Moore. Reverend Moore will always be “The People’s Champ,” a big-hearted advocate for everyone in Southwest Philadelphia, who enriched our lives beyond words.

“He did not lose a battle to cancer, because he fought it fearlessly the same way he fought for peace and justice in our streets, instead he won an eternal reward.  My prayers and condolences are with his family and our community during this difficult time. May his memory and legacy be an inspiration to us all.”

Rising from humble circumstances, Paul had deep roods in Southwest: raised in Bartram Village and attending Bartram High.  After a brief welterweight professional boxing career where he earned the nickname “Earthquake,” Paul worked more than 25 years with the City Streets Department. 

His commitment to his community included his election to the Board of Directors of Southwest Community Development Corp., where he served as president for the past 8 years. 

A steadfast family man, Paul was a devout member of New Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church at Woodland Avenue and 70th Street where he served as Associate Minister.

Paul served in the PA National Guard for 27 years with 2 years of active duty.  He is the winner of the Wrice-Campbell Award for Neighborhood Safety 2011.   

Paul was renowned for the community projects he created: The 24-Hour Food-A-Thon: his Annual Celebrity Turkey Run & Giveaway;  the  incomparable “Community Claus” handing out toys along Woodland Avenue at holiday time; the Weekend of Peace program to reduce violence;  and the summer “Boot Camp” to inculcate strong values in youth.

To the end, Paul was energetic and outspoken about the issues he felt were important:  sending a pair of boxing gloves to Joe Biden in December to celebrate his election victory and the President-Elect’s quip about how Trump demeaned women,  “If we were in high school I’d take him out back of the gym and beat the hell out of him!”

Paul’s next project was working up a portrayal of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  “I had a dream that one day I’d do him;  I just want to do something that the kids will remember.”

His remark in an interview on CBS some years ago typified his approach to life, “I grew up without much; I’ve tried to devote my life to helping others have more.”        

(Donna Henry, Lorraine Thomas, and Ted Behr contributed to this article)    

Reader Interactions


  1. Carey Davis says

    What a beautiful reflection on an extraordinary man. Earthquake was a true gift to Southwest Philadelphia, and a role model for heart-inspired service.

  2. Roslyn says

    Earthquake, I meant 18yrs ago in Paschall, helping to stomp violence and feed the hungry. Every Christmas Earthquake and his wife made sure everyone ate. My deepest sympathy for strength at this for the family. Love, Peace and Help Others. RIP EARTHQUAKE🙏🏿🌹💖🖤GREATLY MISSED

  3. Martin C says

    A better man than most who loved his city and community. An unsung hero! Rest In Peace!
    May angels escort you to the Thorne of God and tell Him of your valors.

  4. Sheena Saunders says

    Had a opportunity to hold conversations with u during ur time of treatments at the pearlman ctr for advanced medicine u will be missed rest well Sheena Saunders block Capt 5700 of kingsessing neva will u be forgotten!!

  5. Lisa Tronco Pizzo says

    Im so heartbroken to hear about Mr Paul “Earthquake” Moore passing.
    I remember the first time I met him I was in 5th grade at Catherine elementary school and and spoke to us about drugs with #McGruffthedog.
    “Earthquake” always had a smile for you no matter who you were, what color and even if you were the worst junky in the hood of SWP HE ALWAYS WAS WILLING TO HELP ANYTIME. He never passed up an opportunity to help out or even start a charity to help families without, he loved giving presents out to the kids in SWP dressed as Santa Claus & was a phenomenal boxer nd Military Veteran!..
    Paul “earthquake” Moore
    Leaves a legacy of love hope faith determination and love for his fellow man and God who he served as a reverand on 70th woodland ave!
    God Speed Mr Moore..
    No one could hold a candle to your greatness!

  6. Henry Cook says

    Rest in peace “Unc ” your devotion to the city inspired many to go forward and give back to our great city of brotherly love 💘. Rest in peace forever ❤ not forgotten 🙏

  7. Emmett Harrity says

    So sad to hear of the passing of Quake. He really was a legend in Southwest. I had many conversations with him as a child and was honored to call him my friend as an adult. I’m going to miss him. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

  8. Doreen Waller says

    Paul will never be forgotten here in southwest. I remember when I asked him to come and be a part of a back to school prayer vigil on the 1800 block of South Cecil Street a few years ago. He readily agreed and lead the group in song and prayer.
    Go on and take your well deserved rest Paul.

  9. Donato Congialdi says

    Paul worked for me at McDonald’s and was a very gentle soul who had a zest for life and an incredible sense of humor…He will be missed..RIP brother Paul🙏💙

    • Marthea B says

      If you called on Paul HE’S coming. I lived in Southphilly and I called him to come help me with getting rid of old Furniture no problem I will be THERE I will ALWAYS remember him. A Dedicated SOUL

  10. Chuck says

    Paul my friend, I have known him for years , my heart and prayers 🙏goes out to his church family and the community he service, He inspired many people in the community, keep his legacy alive.

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