R.I.P. Jerry J. Moore, In The Obscurity He Hated

Categories: Spaced City
DBC0175~Forget-Me-Not-Posters.jpgA Houston businessman who makes the Forbes 400 list of richest people twelve times, who gained fame for his large and luxurious car collection....a guy like that dies, you kinda expect the Houston Chronicle to notice.

But apparently not.

Jerry J. Moore died November 23 and, as best we can determine, the only mention of it in the Chron is an obit paid for by his survivors.

Moore was long gone from his `80s heyday, when he was developing shopping malls and flaunting a net worth of $500 million.

He was obsessed with getting the attention he thought that fortune deserved, resulting in an extremely odd Forbes magazine story about him.

The 1987 story is not online, but writer Edward F. Cone memorably describes Moore inviting him to a regular meeting of the city's movers and shakers. Moore tells him it's a successor to the infamous Room 8-F, when Jesse Jones and others would meet in the Rice Hotel and decide Houston's future.

Coyne follows Moore as he drives maniacally down the freeway, going 75 mph on the shoulder to avoid a traffic jam, and then goes into the meeting.

Big names are there, but it's clear some don't even know each other, much less belong to the same "club."

He writes:

Finally, two hours into the ordeal, Michel (Mike) Halbouty, the renowned geologist, asks the question that has been growing in everyone's mind, save Moore's. "What the hell are you talking about?" the irascible head of Michel Halbouty Energy demands, his white moustache bristling. "I was told we were here to do a fair story on the state of Houston's economy, to counter all that exaggerated crap in the eastern papers. What's all this junk about money and power and goddamn Room 8-F?"
Heads nod around the table. Halbouty snorts and stomps out. The meeting doesn't last much longer.

Moore eventually sort-of admits there really isn't such a club.

Another writer had his own experience with Moore in 2003.  Inc used him as an example of how not to value your company. As the writer concludes:
This was a man obsessed with his net worth, or at least what I considered it to be. He and his accountant spent two hours with me the day after our Luke's Hamburgers meeting, poring over his holdings. He then began calling me every week or two, full of spin....Last year, he put his chateau up for sale, complete with the 26-car underground air-conditioned garage. Price tag: $18 million. No tears for Moore, of course, but I've often thought about how much time he spent wooing me, and how if he'd spent that time tending to his business, he might have a few extra Duesenbergs in his collection.

Jerry J. Moore -- gone, and apparently forgotten. Sounds like the way he most definitely didn't want to go.

 -- Richard Connelly

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34 comments
moatkinson60
moatkinson60

In 1978 I worked for Jerry J. Moore and was invited to his surprise birthday party. It was atop a swanky hotel restaurant in Houston, the fanciest place I had ever been to at the time. Sitting in my assigned seat at the elegant dinner table, I was talking with my co-workers when the waiter came up to me and asked me if I would like a cocktail. I said, "Sure! What kind do you have?" He assured me that I could have any cocktail I desired. I thought for a short minute and said, "I'll take the shrimp". (Hey, I was a naive 18 yr. old)

So a very wealthy man like Jerry would be very hard to buy a gift for his birthday, right? I bought a small $2 framed mirror, small paint brush, and black model paint. I painted the words "Think Kosher" on it and gave it to him. He laughed heartily when he opened it, there at the restaurant, in front of everyone. With tears from laughter in his eyes, he looked at me and said, "This is the best present I have ever received". The following Monday morning, he called me into his office to show me where he hung the mirror. I was touched. So was he.

antiques-rus
antiques-rus

I first met Jerry Moore in the 80's. At that time I was a partner in a Rolls Royce/Bentley automobile import business with showrooms in Dallas. I found Jerry quite gruff and to the point BUT I liked him, he loved his cars, they were like beautiful women to him and was certainly a charactor to be reakoned with, I am sorry he is no longer with us bless him RIP Jerry, I will always remember you.

Peter Yardley

London, England

markxpuma
markxpuma

Worked with Jerry J. Moore in his Bellaire office.  He wasn't as great as people think.  Sort of an Enron finance game.  He would borrow money from a bank to buy strip centers in terrible areas of town then use them to get loans from other small banks after he ran into their loan limit.  It was like a Chinese Checkers board.  He was more debt than assets, but people never knew since he worked as much as Skilling to keep up the charade.  Jerry was very involved with the owners (prison) of Hart Galleries and Charles Vickery (forced out of banking) of First National Bank of Bellaire (now Traditions Bank.)  Very sad that all of those men's first and true love was money.

maria8668713
maria8668713

is this the same Richard Connelly that works for the houston press?You try to get into my friends pants when he was 12. That was a really sick act.Can we all just agree, as a society, no oral sex on public transportation? You Two were filmed on a bus giving/receiving blowjobs. He was so upset that he ran away from home and we never saw him again.

Michael de los Santos
Michael de los Santos

I didnt know Mr. Moore but I love cars. I only own one car, a 07 DTS,  but can talk about cars for hours with the right person. I was lucky enough to acquire several items from his home that went to auction. Whats funny is I wanted these items because they were in his home,  and his car collection was one of the best in the world. I also admire him for the way he remained/lived after becoming rich. The Friday before the Sunday auction I drove by his home, parked outside, and had a moment where I asked him if I could have his blessing at the auction. I dont know why i did it but at the auction, much to my surprise, I was able to win 4 items. I had only saved/planned to win one item but ended up with 4. I know it had something to do with visiting his gates of his mansion. I got a pair of french serves style doves, a lalique crystal cherubs figure, a lladro love boat, and a huge mahogany sofa table. I feel Mr. Moore in some sense knew i would cherish and take care of these belongings. Weird but true story,  Michael de los Santos

Carverpestcontrol
Carverpestcontrol

I did work there. Wow, I was just the only exterminator not affraid to drill holes in between his ferrari s. What a beautiful place but all of the the exotic cars were just amazing. I will never forget seeing all those corvettes with less than 25 miles on them from the 60s and 70s. They had experimental plates on shifted plates. I was about 20 at the time and now own Carver Pest control n Friendswood tx, now 36. I remember not collecting that 12,000.00 check. Salesman got that one. Anyways , its 2011 now and I didn't know him personally but he just looked kinda like my grandpa but my grandpa didn't pull up in a rolls royce to see how my day was. He seemed kind hearted enough. Anyways I will never forget that experience. I just hope the family has kept his collection together. Chris Carver.

bill powell
bill powell

Who is Richard Connelly and who the hell is he to do a hatchet job on the dead, and why did he feel a need to? I've known lots of bastards who feel a need to whip those who cannot defend themselves. I knew Jerry Moore bettr than most of you people, and under all kinds of conditions. We had an unusual kind of relationship but the bottom line is he was my friend. Let him rest.....

anonymous
anonymous

Jerry J Moore was a risk taker that had a string of good luck, which afforded him a life of luxury...as well as an enormous ego and a smoke-screen net wealth calcultion. He was not a genious, nor an innovator. He suffored from all of the normal human limitations that infect the rest of us regular folk. I often saw him behave in a less than gracious way.

However, he also had a family that he loved and that loved him in return. I knew him and his family on a very personal level for many years. As with any loved one who passes, we should all respect their grief, and the memory of a father/grandfather. He was a normal man. All of us should be able to relate.

L. Young
L. Young

I remember him from Michelangelo's restaurant.When I first started working, the other hostess said "Jerry J. Moore and his wife come in here to eat. When they call, put a menu on THAT table over there (it was over by a window) and don't let anyone else take it!!"

LOL!

I remember one Christmas he gave us (the entire restaurant staff) calendars that had his car collection on them.

Mir Alikhan
Mir Alikhan

Growing up in the 1980s, I long remember Jerry Moore properties all over Houston. As I awakened today, Jerry Moore's name popped into mind. I just now entered his name in a search engine, and this is the first article to show up in the results.

I don't take offense to the article or think it was written with negative intent. What stood out more than anything is that the Houston Chronicle did not bother mention to his passing.

It's a shame the largest city paper did not have an article remembering such a memorable icon from Houston. Condolences to the family. Peace.

Sylvia Joubert Thomas
Sylvia Joubert Thomas

Dear Shelly, I am sorry to hear about your Father's passing. I agree with you. A measure of a person's life can not be summed up by whether or not the Houston Chronicle decides to write an article upon their death. The negative rendition that this writer wrote of your father was uncalled for and cruel. I found this article while looking for long lost friends on the internet. This is Sylvia Joubert Thomas, one of your high school friends from 1972 (Acree is my maiden name). I was looking for you on Classmates.com and decided to google your name. If you have an opportunity to read this post, send me an email, so we may catch up. With Sympathy and Warmest Regards, Sylvia sylrjthomas@gmail.com

Bruce Ian Schimmel
Bruce Ian Schimmel

I knew Jerry J. Moore since I was only 8 and in Hebrew school with his daughter, Terry.

He may have had a reputation as a tough negotiator, but I worked for him in 1979, and can tell you that he was always kind, generous to me and the community, and, most of all, respectful of me, even though I was many years his junior.

If no paper wrote of his death, it was because he had retired from active real estate development so many years prior.

If Jerry J. Moore had not bought and risked his money or revitalizing hundreds of projects that other owners could not make work, Houston, Texas would have been even worse off than it was as a result of multiple real estate depressions.

He should be remembered with admiration, which is how I regard him.

David Meeh
David Meeh

I was a personal friend of Mr Moore's, worked for him many years, him and I had many, many private conversations together, he was very good to me. I became a member of the family, I felt very honored that many times he would only call on me. He chewed me out many times but it only made me tougher. I will always remember the days I worked for him and Mrs Moore. He told me one day when when were setting out under a tree in his golf cart at Columbia Lakes there was no woman like the Mrs. I am very sorry that I missed his passing, I am glad to say Mr and Mrs Moore were personal firends of mine.

Tristan Arthur
Tristan Arthur

What happened to the cars??

My dad had taken me to the Houston Autorama since I can remeber and we mainly went for one exhibit. Jerry J. Moore's! We pretty much quit going once he quit displaying them but I always wondered what happened to the collection. Well about ten years ago I found out. My dad's bank guy from Southwest Bank of Texas also handled Jerry's acounts and he set up an entire day to see some of Jerry's best cars. We started off metting Jerry at the once car musuem he tried to open off of 610 and I have to say he was the coolest old man I have met to this day. We spent hours walking around and listening to him describe all of the cars and then he asked if we wanted to come to his house!! I was floored. We end up in what looked like a castle with 4 or 5 normal garages the had a couple of newer bentley and an old indy car, but then we went underground. I have never to this day senn the type of cars like what was in the "underground cave" While on the tour he explained that his kids were not really into the cars but his grandson was so I have always wondered what happened to the cars. At the time he said he owned around 500+ vehicles which from what I viewed were the best of every generation of every car built. If Shelly ever reads this I am sorry for your loss and everything that people say about your father. Even though only meeting him once it was one of the best days of my life. I am honered that you father took the time out of his schedule to spend a day talking about cars with some people he didn't even know.

David Young
David Young

I met Jerry J. Moore at the car show at the Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook. I just went up to him and started a conversation about cars. When he was talking to me, I would answer him "Yes Sir this and Yes Sir that" as I would do with any man much older than me. He said "Never mind that "Sir" stuff, call me Jerry". I never forgot that.

Wes Cordeau
Wes Cordeau

I met Jerry J. Moore at the old Heights S&L or Heights State Bank in about 1975. I was a beginning Auditor with PMM, and had just reviewed the financial statements of Jerry J. Moore and George Mitchell. I was real interested in real estate (still in the business), and had never seen so many "zero's" on a financial statement.

I was leaving for lunch, taking the elevator, and this affable man in a $4 shirt, and a $2 pair of pants asks me if I like cars. Sure I tell him, and he asks me if I've ever seen a Cadalac pick-up truck.

Sir, Cadalac doesn't make trucks I told him--He say's, "Sonny come with me and I'll show you one"! So we go outside, and sure enough is a pick-up truck with a Caddy front, and a truck bed back! He tells me he paid $25,000 to have it customised! WOW!

I admired it, then asked him his name--Jerry J. Moore he told me, and I almost fell over! He said he owned a couple of shopping centers!

If my memory serves me correct, he owned about three pages, single spaced that I was reviewing!

I sorta kept up with his activities, and never heard anyone say a bad word about him!

Barbara Martin Showers
Barbara Martin Showers

I knew Jerry (Jack) Moore and all of his family a lot of years ago - dated his younger brother Art for five years in the 60s - have really good memories of the entire family - back in those days he was selling those vacuum cleaners in the Carolinas I think

Didn't live in Houston for many years, but was always happy to hear of Jack's accomplishments and admired his success and truly hoped his parents lived long enough to be a part of it

I'll remember his enthusiasm and the times I laughed at his stories - he was an important person in my life

Ramiro Guerrero
Ramiro Guerrero

I was fortunate enough to meet Mr. Jerry J. Moore on several occasions , being that I was in the exotic automobile business it brought us together many times .

I can only tell you good things about the man.....Hell , great things !

And although he had over 800 collectible cars in his personal collection I rarely saw him drive anything but the old Sterling or his favorite pick-up truck !

I was just telling a new friend of mine here in BA about the time I met Mr. Moore for the first time .

The man was amazing ! Told me how he once had been a door to door vacuum cleaner salesman in Oklahoma .....

Actually sold a vacuum cleaner to someone on the reservation and they did�nt even have electricity !

The man was not a �show-off�.....he was a born salesman .

Think along the lines of some of the other likeable Houstonians that collected cars like Red Adair and John Mecom .

He was a �Hoot�......and I mean that in the best way imaginable .

Thank You .

Ramiro Guerrero
Ramiro Guerrero

I was fortunate enough to meet Mr. Jerry J. Moore on several occasions , being that I was in the exotic automobile business it brought us together many times .

I can only tell you good things about the man.....Hell , great things !

And although he had over 800 collectible cars in his personal collection I rarely saw him drive anything but the old Sterling or his favorite pick-up truck !

I was just telling a new friend of mine here in BA about the time I met Mr. Moore for the first time .

The man was amazing ! Told me how he once had been a door to door vacuum cleaner salesman in Oklahoma .....

Actually sold a vacuum cleaner to someone on the reservation and they did�nt even have electricity !

The man was not a �show-off�.....he was a born salesman .

Think along the lines of some of the other likeable Houstonians that collected cars like Red Adair and John Mecom .

He was a �Hoot�......and I mean that in the best way imaginable .

Thank You .

bob schnittger
bob schnittger

Shelly, I'm sorry to hear of your father's passing and I apologize for intruding, but the Alfa Romeo 1900 Register is trying to locate a yellow (at one time) Ghia-bodied 1900 Alfa coupe that is rumoured to be or to have been in your late father's collection. We have cataloged the other nine surviving Alfas of this type (out of 10) and are anxious to locate this last one.

If you can help us, we'd be most appreciative and can find a way to make contact.

Thank you.

bob schnittger
bob schnittger

Shelly, I'm sorry to hear of your father's passing and I apologize for intruding, but the Alfa Romeo 1900 Register is trying to locate a yellow (at one time) Ghia-bodied 1900 Alfa coupe that is rumoured to be or to have been in your late father's collection. We have cataloged the other nine surviving Alfas of this type (out of 10) and are anxious to locate this last one.

If you can help us, we'd be most appreciative and can find a way to make contact.

Thank you.

ralph white
ralph white

I remember meeting Jerry J. Moore at the Resorts Suite Hotel in Scottsdale, AZ. while he was there for the Barrett-Jackson Auction.

The waiter in the restaurant had been waiting on him and his wife for 10 years or so and said never once did Moore ever leave a tip.He apparently was beyond thrifty and cheap.His wife was one of the nicest ladies we have ever met. Completely opposite of him. Kind, funny, generous and very approachable.

I heard many stories about how ruthless he was in business and classic car dealings.

Who was it that said you can judge a person's life long character by how many people come to his funeral.

filioscotia
filioscotia

Room 8-F where the power-brokers met wasn't in the Rice Hotel. It was in the old Lamar Hotel, several blocks from the Rice at Main and Lamar.

C..R  Phelps
C..R Phelps

I worked for JJmoore in the early 90's and he treated people like trash under his feet,his family and scum son in law were no better. We did have a conversation ..just he and I coming back from Alvin going 100mph were he almost was human when he said he would trade all his wealth to start over again to know his kids, because he was never home when they were growing up. I sorry to speak this way of the dead but its the Gods Honest truth.Thought maybe if his 3 kids saw this,at least they would know.

Jason Forbes
Jason Forbes

I think Mr. Cone is asinine to say the least. I spent some time around Mr. Moore while working at his house in late 2007. He always greeted those around him, even though he was suffering from health issues. He seemed to me to be a person with a giddy personality. I thought he was funny. I happen to love Houston, Texas, and Mr. Moore has accomplished much for his town and for those around him. I know he should have received more honor for his life, but come on, the "Houston Chronicle," don't we line bird cages with this stuff.

Duppy Conqueror
Duppy Conqueror

To: The liberal freak who wrote this article

It's pretty typical that you would write such an article about a man who accomplished so much more personally and professionally than you ever will. I guess that because you can't be successful (writing for a free publication), you have to tear down those who are. Where was this article when Mr. Moore was alive? This is a tragic reflection of what has become of our society. In the words of the great Lebbowski: "The war is over, the bums lost. Do what parents did and GET A JOB!!"Jerry J. Moore was a distinguished gentleman and Houston will miss him dearly.

D. Sands
D. Sands

There was an unforgettable article about Jerry J. Moore in Institutional Investor distilling some of his basic strategies of building a real estate empire. I would recommend that article as required reading for anyone aspiring to succeed in commercial real estate, Moore's ideas were insightful and inspiring.

jtaler
jtaler

I find it amazing that one feels it must be in a written documentary that value is held. Mr. and Mrs. Moore were people who I have often thought of and smiled. They understood the essence of hardwork and dedication. At the same time, they held true to their family and their beliefs Many people envy that and so with that said..maybe you need to rethink your stance. They were an amazing couple who did acquire a fortune but rightly so with their drive and endurance. They will not be forgotten but remembered in the fashion they chose - privately.

Our deepest sympathy to the Moore Family.

Brian
Brian

You are a piece of garbage. You are judging a man's life based on a small, meaningless encounter with him and based on other's accounts? This man has a family and for them to have to read this from you is absurd. I hope that someday, when you are gone, that some moron like yourself writes a ridiculous piece about you based on one chance encounter you had with the writer 20 years ago. Because, I am sure you have been a saint to everyone you have met and if you haven't, it sums up your life.

Everyone has their issues. You have obviously proven that about yourself. Go pick on someone that can actually respond, you coward.

Barney Gentry
Barney Gentry

To Shelly Moore,Did your father own a house in Dickinson on the water? I think it was called Nicholstone or something like that. A couple of people I know talk about what an intersting character your father was. Sorry to hear about his passing.

Barney Gentry
Barney Gentry

To Shelly Moore,Did your father own a house in Dickinson on the water? I think it was called Nicholstone or something like that. A couple of people I know talk about what an intersting character your father was. Sorry to hear about his passing.

Shelly Moore
Shelly Moore

Jerry J. Moore was my father and I definitely won't forget him. I don't believe the measure of a person's life can be summed up by whether or not the Houston Chronicle decides to write an article upon their death. I know nothing about the writer of this article and I'm not sure what his agenda is in writing such a negative rendition of my father.

budster
budster

I knew him pretty well. Different than most because I worked for Andrew. Jerry liked speaking what was on his mind and was usually explicit verbally. He use to joke around calling me a thief among other things. He'd let us by him lunch at place like Burger King off Main in downtown Houston. He was tougher than nails and soft as baby lotion. Guess that's some of what the Mrs. seen him? Sad to see the home it gave the feeling it would be a land mark. But this is Houston and it's historical captivators are pretty much full of BS. I wouldn't pay much attention to columnist... most of them don't honestly know the people they publicly subject and ridicule. For if they did they'd know Jerry is a greater man in a greater place... Rest well Jerry! and tale Andrew his ole' crew said howdy! :)

toby richker
toby richker

Hi Shelly: I knew your dad briefly through my uncle who had passed away about 9 years ago..Mike Grossman...My uncle worked for you dad in the very beginning about 35 or more years ago but your dad always took the time to meet with and I'm sorry to say that I just heard of your dad's passing...god bless..toby

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