Biography and History

Hugh Moore (1887-1972) was an industrialist, philanthropist, and perennial organizer. Born in Kansas on April 27, 1887 and raised in Missouri, Moore attended but did not graduate from Harvard (he is considered a member of the Class of 1907). At the age of 21 Moore, and his brother-in-law went to New York City to promote the idea of a sanitary paper drinking cup to replace the “common cup” that could be found in train stations, hospitals, and other public venues. Encountering much initial skepticism, Moore and his brother-in-law soon won over a group of investors by writing letters on Waldorf-Astoria Hotel stationery. With the help of W. T. Graham, President of the American Can Co., and other investors, Moore and his brother-in-law founded the Dixie Cup Corporation. In 1957 he sold Dixie Cup to the American Can Company, and began to devote his efforts entirely to the causes of world population and world peace, in which he had already taken a great deal of interest. He continued to be active in directing the work of the Hugh Moore Fund until his death in 1972.

Moore established The Hugh Moore Fund in 1944 with the specific goal of promoting world peace. His conception of world peace was broad, as can be seen from the materials in this collection relating to the United Nations and NATO on international, national and local levels. However, Moore's most important contribution to the understanding of the concept of world peace was his insistence that population be an element of the definition of world peace, and that it be a factor in issues relating to international relations. An overpopulated, underfed, and undereducated world was a world in which peace could not exist, at least not equally for all, he believed. Moore has consistently been characterized as ahead of his time in this matter. His pamphlet, The Population Bomb, published in the early 1950s, dealt with “population control” issues that were considered taboo at the time, and coined the phrase “population explosion” as a warning that the world would “breed itself to death.” Birth control, for example, was not a topic spoken of nor acknowledged by the general public, neither was euthanasia. However, Moore was deeply concerned about both of these issues, and continued to address them despite a great deal of opposition voiced by many experts in the field of population studies. John D. Rockefeller III, chair of The Population Council considered Moore's publication of The Population Bomb a mistake and thought that it would create general panic.

Source: From the finding aid for MC153


  • Social reformers -- United States -- 20th century..
  • Committee to Defend America By Aiding the Allies Records. 1940-1942 (inclusive).

    Call Number: MC011

    The Records of the Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies (CDAAA) document the Committee to Defend America from its inception in May 1940 to its official dissolution in October 1942. In January, 1942 CDAAA merged with the Council for Democracy to form Citizens for Victory: To Win the War, To Win the Peace. The Committee to Defend America was a propaganda organization that worked to persuade the American public that the United States should supply the Allies with as much material and financial aid as possible in order to keep the United States out of the war. During its year and a half tenure the Committee successfully garnered support from across the country and from other parts of the world.

  • Hugh Moore Fund Collection. 1922-1972 (inclusive), 1939-1970 (bulk).

    Call Number: MC153

    The Hugh Moore Fund Collection consists of the files that belonged to Hugh Moore relating to his strong interest in the areas of world peace and world population. Moore established The Hugh Moore Fund in 1944 as a means of funding a number of organizations relating to these interests. Some of the materials in this collection pre-date 1944; these are the papers of organizations to which Moore belonged and which The Hugh Moore Fund supported.