ENGLEWOOD — Thomas “Don” Moore was an old school journalist with newsprint in his blood.

Moore, who died in February, will now assist budding journalists through scholarships at the University of Florida, his alma mater.

“He was big on education and lived for journalism, so I think he would have really loved that,” said his daughter, Mary Shannon Moore, of Englewood.

For 40 or more years, Moore hammered out articles and columns, including more than 1,000 stories celebrating the experiences of local veterans, for the various editions of the Venice Gondolier and the Sun newspapers, now The Daily Sun.

He published books of veterans’ stories, “War Tales” and “War Tales II,” which are still available to read at donmooreswartales.com.

Moore worked as a journalist for more than 50 years, including being writer, editor and owner of the Islander, a weekly newspaper serving Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key in the 1960s.

In July 1999, while working for Sun Coast Media Group, Moore underwent a heart transplant at Tampa General Hospital. While recouping, he wrote about the experience of waiting — and slowly dying as each day passed — for a new heart.

“Newsroom,” he would answer the phone in his hospital room.

When Moore died earlier this year, his former colleague, Marisa Porto, finished a story Moore had begun writing and which would become his obituary.

Moore was a mentor and friend to Porto. Upon his death, Porto and two other of Moore’s former colleagues — Tom O’Neill and Jamie (Carte) Floer — brainstormed how best to remember Moore and determined a scholarship fund would be best.

“Don Moore spent his entire life telling stories of his community,” Porto said. Teaching a new generation of journalists would be the best way to remember him.


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