Eugene “Gene” Moore during a swearing-in ceremony.
Eugene “Gene” Moore, the former Cook County Recorder of Deeds who had been an established political force in Proviso Township politics for more than two decades, has died, according to multiple sources. He was 73 years old.
Sources say Moore had been battling illness, off and on, for some time, but his precise cause, or time, of death weren’t disclosed. Already, however, tributes have appeared on his Facebook page.
In a phone interview Tuesday, Maywood Mayor Edwenna Perkins said Moore was “Maywood’s son,” and that “his life will be missed.”
“Gene Moore was a good guy,” said Princess Dempsey, the president of the Lindop School District 92 school board.
“He supported me when I ran for office and he was one of my support systems, in general,” Dempsey said when interviewed by phone Tuesday. “His goal was to make a change in Proviso. He wanted to see a difference in this place.”
By the time he became Cook County Recorder of Deeds in 1999, Moore had been an established political player. His first venture into local politics was in 1989, when he was elected trustee for Proviso Township.
He would later go on to become the first African-American elected to represent the 7th District in the Illinois House of Representatives, where he served three terms, and was elected to a fourth, before running for recorder.
Throughout his political life, Moore, a longtime member of the Second Baptist Church in Maywood, would cultivate a rich civic life.
According to a biography on one of his campaign websites, Moore was a football and basketball coach and mentor to youths in Proviso Township. He also served on numerous boards, including those of the Boys and Girls Club of West Cook County, the Proviso-Leyden Council on Community Action, the John C. Vaughn’s Scholarship Fund, Inc., and the Community Economic Development Association.
In 2012, Moore retired from elected office, but his appetite for influence wasn’t diminished. He still talked passionately about community affairs, backed local candidates and mentored rising political figures like current Maywood Trustee Isiah Brandon, who said he was in communication with Moore up until the latter’s final days.
“He definitely was a great mentor,” Brandon said. “He started many young people on their way to public service and I was one of them. He taught us what it was to be an effective elected official. I am grateful for the opportunity to have been under his wings.”
Moore, a lifelong and proud Maywoodian, had three children — Dowanna, Natalie and Eric. More as this story develops. VFP
An earlier version of this post inaccurately mentioned that Moore lost a bid for re-election to his Cook County Recorder of Deeds seat. This post has since been updated. Village Free Press regrets the error.
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