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The Other Wes Moore: About The Author

The resources in this guide will help you to learn about the book and author, find book reviews, listen to speeches and interviews or lead a book discussion.

About The Author


Wes Moore is a youth advo­cate, Army com­bat vet­eran, promis­ing busi­ness leader and author.

Wes grad­u­ated Phi Theta Kappa as a com­mis­sioned offi­cer from Val­ley Forge Mil­i­tary Col­lege in 1998 and Phi   Beta Kappa from Johns Hop­kins Uni­ver­sity in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in Inter­na­tional Rela­tions. At Johns Hop­kins he was hon­ored by the Mary­land Col­lege Foot­ball Hall of Fame. He com­pleted an MLitt in Inter­na­tional Rela­tions from Oxford Uni­ver­sity as a Rhodes Scholar in 2004. Wes was a para­trooper and Cap­tain in the United States Army, serv­ing a com­bat tour of duty in Afghanistan with the elite 1st Brigade of the 82nd Air­borne Divi­sion in 2005–2006. Wes spear­headed the Amer­i­can strate­gic sup­port plan for the Afghan Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion Pro­gram that unites for­mer insur­gents with the new Afghan Gov­ern­ment. He is rec­og­nized as an author­ity on the rise and ram­i­fi­ca­tions of rad­i­cal Islamism in the West­ern Hemi­sphere. A White House Fel­low from 2006–2007, Wes served as a Spe­cial Assis­tant to Sec­re­tary of State Con­doleezza Rice. Fol­low­ing his time at the White House, Wes became an invest­ment pro­fes­sional in New York at Cit­i­group, focus­ing on global tech­nol­ogy and alter­na­tive invest­ments. In 2009 he was selected as an Asia Soci­ety Fel­low. Moore was named one of Ebony magazine’s “Top 30 Lead­ers Under 30” for 2007 and Crain’s New York Busi­ness’ “40 Under 40 Ris­ing Stars” in 2009.

Wes is pas­sion­ate about sup­port­ing U.S. vet­er­ans and exam­in­ing the roles edu­ca­tion, men­tor­ing and pub­lic ser­vice play in the lives of Amer­i­can youth. He serves on the board of the Iraq Afghanistan Vet­er­ans of Amer­ica (IAVA) and founded an orga­ni­za­tion called STAND! through Johns Hop­kins that works with Bal­ti­more youth involved in the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem. Wes was a fea­tured speaker at the 2008 Demo­c­ra­tic National Con­ven­tion in Den­ver and addressed the crowd from Invesco Field. He has also spo­ken at the National Foun­da­tion for Teach­ing Entre­pre­neur­ship (NFTE) Busi­ness Plan Com­pe­ti­tion, South­ern Regional Con­fer­ence of the National Soci­ety of Edu­ca­tors, the edu­ca­tion reform ses­sion of the third annual Race & Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion in Amer­ica con­fer­ence, and the first 9/11 National Day of Ser­vice and Remembrance.

He  has been fea­tured by such media out­lets as Peo­ple Mag­a­zine, The New York Times, The Wash­ing­ton Post, CSPAN, and MSNBC, amongst oth­ers.  Wes’ first book, The Other Wes Moore, will be pub­lished by Spiegel & Grau, an imprint of Ran­dom House, in late April 2010.

Wes Moore was born in 1978 and was three years old when his father, a respected radio and tele­vi­sion host, died in front of him. His mother, hop­ing for a bet­ter future for her fam­ily, made great sac­ri­fices to send Wes and his sis­ters to pri­vate school. Caught between two worlds—the afflu­ence of his class­mates and the strug­gles of his neighbors—Wes began to act out, suc­cumb­ing to bad grades, sus­pen­sions, and delin­quen­cies. Des­per­ate to reverse his behav­ior, his mother sent him to mil­i­tary school in Penn­syl­va­nia. After try­ing to escape five times, Wes finally decided to stop rail­ing against the sys­tem and become account­able for his actions. By grad­u­a­tion six years later, Moore was com­pany com­man­der over­see­ing 125 cadets.

On Decem­ber 11, 2000, The Bal­ti­more Sun ran an arti­cle about how Wes, despite his trou­bled child­hood, had just received The Rhodes Schol­ar­ship. At the same time, The Sun was run­ning sto­ries —even­tu­ally more than 100 in all—about four African-American men who were arrested for the mur­der of an off-duty Bal­ti­more police offi­cer dur­ing an armed rob­bery. One of the men con­victed was just two years older than Wes, lived in the same neigh­bor­hood, and in an uncanny turn, was also named Wes Moore.

Wes won­dered how two young men from the same city, who were around the same age, and even shared a name, could arrive at two com­pletely dif­fer­ent des­tinies. The jux­ta­po­si­tion between their lives, and the ques­tions it raised about account­abil­ity, chance, fate and fam­ily, had a pro­found impact on Wes. He decided to write to the other Wes Moore, and much to his sur­prise, a month later he received a let­ter back. He vis­ited the other Wes in prison over a dozen times, spoke with his fam­ily and friends, and dis­cov­ered star­tling par­al­lels between their lives: both had dif­fi­cult child­hoods, they were both father­less, were hav­ing trou­ble in the class­room; they’d hung out on sim­i­lar cor­ners with sim­i­lar crews, and had run into trou­ble with the police. Yet at each stage of their lives, at sim­i­lar moments of deci­sion, they would head down dif­fer­ent paths towards aston­ish­ingly diver­gent des­tinies. Wes real­ized in their two sto­ries was a much larger tale about the con­se­quences of per­sonal respon­si­bil­ity and the imper­a­tive­ness of edu­ca­tion and com­mu­nity for a gen­er­a­tion of boys search­ing for their way.

Seek­ing to help other young peo­ple to redi­rect their lives, Wes is com­mit­ted to being a pos­i­tive influ­ence and help­ing kids find the sup­port they need to enact change. Point­ing out that a high school stu­dent drops out every nine sec­onds, Wes says that pub­lic servants—the teach­ers, men­tors and vol­un­teers who work with our youth—are as imper­a­tive to our national stand­ing and sur­vival as are our armed forces. “Pub­lic ser­vice does not have to be an occu­pa­tion,” he says, “but it must be a way of life.”

Moore lives with his wife Dawn in New Jersey.



From the official home page of Westley Moore --


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