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)