Eugene “Gene” Moore, the former Cook County Recorder of Deeds who had been an established political force in west suburban politics for more than two decades, died on June 14 at his home in Maywood, according to friends and family members. He was 73 years old. Sources say he had been battling cancer.
In a phone interview Tuesday, Maywood Mayor Edwenna Perkins said Moore was “Maywood’s son,” and that “his life will be missed.”
Before he was elected to the recorder’s seat in 1999, Moore had been a Proviso Township trustee and eventually the first African-American elected to represent the 7th District, which covers Forest Park, in the Illinois House.
Princess Dempsey, the president of the Lindop School District 92 board who ran for Moore’s old state house seat in 2012, the year he retired from politics, lauded the former county official for his constant support and willingness to serve.
“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 Township. He wanted to see a difference in this place.”
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 that of the Boys and Girls Club of West Cook County.
After his retirement, Moore still yearned for influence. Up until his final days, friends say, he could still be seen actively discussing local government and politics.
Maywood Trustee Isiah Brandon, whose 2015 campaign may have been the last one in which Moore played an active role, called the late politician “a great mentor.”
“He started many young people on their way to public service and I was one of them,” Brandon said. “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 had three children — Dowanna, Natalie and Eric.
This story will be updated as more information comes in.