Thomas A. Loomis

MOORE, FRED HOLMSLEY (1909–1985). Fred H. Moore, geologist, oil company executive, and patron of education, the youngest of four sons of Robert Hartwell and Fanny Teresa (Holmsley) Moore, was born in Comanche, Texas, on November 2, 1909. He earned a B.A. degree at Texas Technological College (now Texas Tech University) in 1930. He received a master of arts degree in geology from the University of Virginia in 1931 and did graduate work in geology at Yale University from 1931 to 1933. He completed an advanced management course at the Harvard Business School in 1951. In 1935 Moore published a book entitled Marbles and Limestones of Connecticut. He was first employed as a geologist with the U.S. Gypsum Company in 1933 and in 1935 began a thirty-two-year career with Magnolia Petroleum Company and its parent, Mobil Oil Company. He began as a field geologist and rose to become assistant to Magnolia's president from 1950 to 1956 and executive vice president in 1959. After the Magnolia-Mobil merger he directed Mobil's North American oil exploration and production division based in New York City. He was executive vice president of Mobil Oil of Canada, Limited, in 1956–57 and manager of worldwide production at Socony Mobil Oil from 1957 to 1958. He became director and executive vice president of Mobil in 1961 and was special assistant to the president from 1967 to 1969. He served as a member of the petroleum consortium thereafter, but retired for reasons of health in 1967 and moved to Austin, Texas.

Moore devoted most of the rest of his life to higher education. He was a trustee of Our Lady of the Lake University and of Austin College, a regent of Texas Tech University, a trustee of the Independent College Fund of America, and a member of the National Council of the United Negro College Fund of America; he served two six-year terms as a member of the Texas College and University System Coordinating Board. Moore contributed both time and money to the University of Texas at Austin. In 1978 he arranged the transfer of a Mobil seismographic research ship, the Fred H. Moore, to the University of Texas Marine Science Institute. He was a member and chairman of the UT College of Business Administration Foundation Advisory Council. Moore received an LL.D. degree from Middlebury College in 1963, an honorary D.Sc. from Hartwick College in 1966, an L.H.D. from Marlboro College in 1967, and a D.B.A. from Our Lady of the Lake in 1977. An endowed professorship in international management was named for him in 1978, and he was inducted into the University of Texas Business Hall of Fame in 1984. In April 1984 university president Peter Flawn presented Moore the Presidential Citation in recognition of his role in initiating the Centennial Endowed Teachers and Scholars program, which significantly increased the number of faculty endowments at the university by matching private gifts with public funds.

Moore was a member of the Texas State Historical Association and served on the executive council and as vice president. He was named honorary life president on June 25, 1983. He was a fellow of the Geological Society of America, a director of the Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association and the American Petroleum Institute, and a member of the Philosophical Society of Texas, the Dallas Chamber of Commerce, and the National Industrial Conference Board. He also belonged to the Sons of the Republic of Texas, the Sons of Confederate Veterans,qqv the Society of Mayflower Descendants, and the Sons of the American Revolution. Moore was a lifelong Presbyterian. He married Grace Hunter in July 1929; they were the parents of one daughter. After the death of his first wife, he married Ella Mae Rudd Handley in 1941. Moore died of heart failure on July 20, 1985, and was buried in Comanche.

Austin American-Statesman, July 21, 1985. Southwestern Historical Quarterly, July 1985. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Who's Who in America, (1962–85).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Thomas A. Loomis, "MOORE, FRED HOLMSLEY," accessed August 24, 2019,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox