Wes Moore (1978- )

Moore posing in front of Maryland state flag
Wes Moore's Official Portrait as Governor of Maryland, January 8, 2023
Courtesy Maryland State Archives

Wes Moore, Rhodes Scholar, banker, and writer, and now the first African American elected governor of Maryland, was born Westley Watende Omari Moore on October 15, 1978, in Washington, D.C., to Westley Moore, a radio news anchor, and Joy Thomas Moore, a Media Consultor, from Lowe River, Jamaica. Both parents were college graduates. Wes has two sisters, Nikki Moore and Shani Moore, and all of them were reared in Washington and in the Bronx, New York, in the home of their Cuban-born grandmother.

Moore’s early education began at the Riverdale Country School in the Bronx, New York. In 1998, Moore graduated from Valley Forge Military Academy and College in Wayne, Pennsylvania, receiving an Associate of Arts degree in liberal arts in 2001. While at Valley Forge he had been the captain of the basketball team, on the football team, ran track and field, and wrestling team. In addition, he worked as an editor-in-chief of the academy’s newspaper.

Moore received a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies and Economics and the Phi Beta Kappa key from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Three years later, in 2004, Moore, named a Rhodes scholar, earned a Master of Letters (a postgraduate degree) in International Relations from Oxford University in Oxford, England.

The following year in 2005, Moore became a paratrooper and joined the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army in Afghanistan. In 2006, however, Moore was back in the United States and was selected as a White House fellow to work with then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

On July 6, 2006, Wes and Dawn Chanté Flythe, the daughter of Pandora and Earl Flythe of Queens, New York, were married at the National City Christian Church in Washington, DC. They are the parents of Mia Moore and James Moore.

From 2007 to 2012, Moore was an Investment banker with Deutsche Bank in London and Citigroup in New York. During this period, Moore, who had been a contributor to The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, The Baltimore Sun, and The New York Times, penned his first book, The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates. The book which became a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller described the very different lives of Moore and another Wes Moore who grew up in the turmoil of street life of Baltimore. In 2015, Moore’s first Young Adult novel, This Way Home, was released.

Wes Moore and Family on Inauguration Day, Jan. 18, 2023
Wes Moore being sworn in as Governor of Maryland with family, January 18, 2023 Photograph by Maryland GovPics, courtesy Wikimedia Commons under cc-by-2.0 license

In 2017, Moore was appointed the first chief executive officer (CEO) of the Robin Hood Foundation, a poverty-fighting nonprofit organization funding schools, food pantries, and shelters in New York City.

In 2022, Moore entered politics when he became the Democratic Party nominee for Governor of Maryland.  Endorsed by the 76,000-strong state teachers union and the Maryland Fraternal Order of Police, he defeated Republican candidate Dan Cox in a landslide, on November 8, receiving 1,271,711 votes (66.4%) compared with 640,817 (32.5%) in the general election, thus making him the first Black governor of the state and the third Black person elected as governor of a U.S. state.

Westley Watende Omari Moore was inaugurated as Governor of Maryland on January 18, 2023.