Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Gary W. Moore  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Born: 1954 in Kankakee, IL

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Illinois Connection

Lives in Bourbonnais, Illinois with his family.

Biographical and Professional Information

Gary W. Moore is a successful entrepreneur and business executive, exciting speaker and sales trainer, musician and author. He is the author of the critically acclaimed book, ''Playing with the Enemy'', which is a book about Gene Moore, Gary's father. Gene was a baseball prodigy who lost his dream of becoming a national league ballplayer to war and injury, but overcame heartbreak and adversity to become a successful business man and father. ''Playing with the Enemy'' was the winner of the 2006 Military Writers Society of America Book of the Year and is currently being made into a major motion picture by the Academy Award winning producer, Gerald Molen. The book has been chosen to receive the Jerome Holtzman Award from the Chicago Baseball Museum. ''Playing with the Enemy'' has been a community-wide reading selection of the year (One Book, One Community) in the many communities including but not limited to:*Kankakee County, IL*Batavia, IL*Naperville, IL*Plainfield, IL*Bolingbrook, IL*Joliet, IL*Freeport, IL*El Dorado Hills, CA*Seward, NE*Atmore, ALLincoln-Way Schools (IL), Lemont High School (IL) and Pace High School (FL) chose ''Playing with the Enemy''as their all-school read.Moore has been featured in publications such as ''Entrepreneur'' Magazine, ''Selling Power'' Magazine, ''Sales and Marketing Management'' Magazine, and was named the 1995 Chamber of Commerce Businessperson of the Year. In 1996, he was awarded the prestigious Sam Wlton Leadership Award. He has been seen on CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox.Moore is also a contributing author for ''Chicken Soup for the Father & Son Soul''. His newest book, ''Hey Buddy: In Pursuit of Buddly Holly, My New Buddy John and My Lost Decade of Music'' was released nationally on January 20, 2011.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Playing with the Enemy: A Baseball Prodigy, World War II, and the Long Journey Home
ISBN: 0143113887

Penguin Books. 2008

Part Tuesdays with Morrie, part Field of Dreams: a true American story of World War II and redemption

Driven by word of mouth and the author?s heroic efforts to tell the world his father?s story, Playing with the Enemy was a surprise hardcover hit for its independent publisher. Gary Moore's book about his father--a baseball phenom whose future in the majors was cut short by World War II and a fateful occurrence during a top secret mission for the U.S. Navy--is a warm-hearted memoir of faded dreams and new hope that is destined for the bestseller lists. Filled with memorable characters from an extraordinary time in our country's history, it is a truly redemptive story that will be read and reread for generations to come.

Hey Buddy: In Pursuit of Buddy Holly, My New Buddy John, and My Lost Decade of Music
ISBN: 1932714979

Savas Beatie. 2011

FINALIST: The Indie Book Awards, for General Non-fiction and Memoir, 2011

He was just a kid from Lubbock, Texas, sporting black horn-rimmed glasses, blue jeans, a white T-shirt, white socks, and loafers. And he changed the course of music history. Today, more than five decades after his tragic death, Buddy Holly still affects lives around the world.

Critically acclaimed author Gary W. Moore was not a fan of rock music. He was familiar with Buddy's name and thought he was dead, but couldn't name even a single song Buddy had written or performed. In a single evening all that changed when the late great Buddy Holly reached out from a stage in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and seized Gary's heart and soul through a song-not a song written or performed by Buddy, but a song about Buddy performed by musician John Mueller. Even Buddy's closest friends say John is Buddy reincarnated, and his resemblance and music will take your breath away.

Hey Buddy is a warm and intimate chronicle of the author's personal journey to discover more about the young man from Lubbock, his music, his influence, and the times in which he lived. Join Gary as he meets Buddy's personal friends, celebrities, and everyday Buddy enthusiasts. Their unique stories will make you laugh, smile, cry, and think all the while "What if?" What if Buddy had lived instead of perishing in that terrible plane crash in Clear Lake, Iowa, on that winter night in 1959? What if Buddy had continued to write music into the 1960s and 70s? What if . . .

Along the way Gary discovers the darker side behind Buddy's last hours. The doomed Dwyer Flying Service charter flight took off in deteriorating weather with an inexperienced 21-year-old pilot who was not instrument-rated. The Dwyers claim they have the plane wreckage in which Buddy, Ritchie Valens, "Big Bopper" Richardson, and the pilot died, and told Gary "the truth has never been told about what happened on that flight." With the help of a retired National Transportation Safety Board aviation crash expert, Gary recreates the short flight and reaches an intriguing conclusion about what really happened during the plane's final moments.

A rollercoaster ride of emotion, Hey Buddy offers a surprising examination of our culture and how the young man from Lubbock brought us from where we were five decades ago to where we are today. His dramatic and enduring legacy influenced everyone from The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Don McLean to writers, fans, and . . . John Mueller, who took the stage in Iowa one cold night not long ago to recreate The Winter Dance Party of 1959 and, in doing so, influenced an author to pick up his pen and explore a legacy that still affects us today.

The Final Service
ISBN: 1611212944

Savas Beatie. 2016

A broken father-daughter relationship . . . a soul that needed guidance . . . and the power of forgiveness and redemption.

"He arrived unannounced, where and when she needed him most . . ."

Forty-year-old Sandy Richards is a successful music teacher, wife, and mother living a comfortable middle class life in a small Midwestern town. But behind her warm smile and easy laugh is a heavy burden she cannot release.

During her childhood, Sandy (or "Shadow" as just about everyone knew her) was inseparable from her larger-than-life father, a World War II hero she adored. Sandy followed him everywhere, hung on his every word, and loved him with all her heart as only a young child can. Sometimes loving him was more difficult than others, especially when he was there and then he was gone―right in front of her eyes without ever leaving the house.

For reasons she would not fully understand until many years later, something went horribly wrong and their relationship fractured, seemingly forever, when her father died of lung cancer on one long hot summer evening. His passing left Shadow alone to "sort through his warehouse of junk," an old storage facility jammed with emotions so overwhelming they balanced her on the edge of suicide. Then, when and where she needed him most, a stranger entered her life. And everything changed once more.

The Final Service offers a riveting story about human nature, emotional abandonment, and how unfulfilled dreams left a middle-aged woman on the brink of personal destruction until one event forever altered the core of her belief system and her life. It is a story of faith, family, and forgiveness, and the realization that forces larger and more powerful than ourselves are at work in our lives in ways we are unable to fully understand.


Advance Praise for The Final Service
"Gary W. Moore has a knack for telling our stories. Whether it's a dream interrupted in Playing with the Enemy or a personal journey of discovery in Hey Buddy, Moore tells us about ourselves while writing about others. Never is that more true than in The Final Service, where a father's misunderstood love nearly tears his daughter apart. Love doesn't always come in the shape we expect. If we're lucky, we realize that before it's too late." ― Steve Bertrand WGN Radio, host of Steve Bertrand on Books
"A poignant story of redemption, the power of forgiveness, and the wisdom that comes later in life when we see our parents as they really are." ― Regine Schlesinger, WBBM Radio, Chicago
"The Final Service is a song of pain and grief and life and death. Author Gary W. Moore highlights the impact of war not only on the combatants themselves but on their families. Decades of sorrow, loss, and guilt erode human connections, but loyalty, understanding, and memory are the magical ties that reach beyond the grave. The parable of Sandy and her father Tom celebrates the complexities of love. Bravo to Gary for touching my crusty old heart." ― Joyce Faulkner, the award-winning author of In the Shadow of Suribachi and Windshift, and former President of Military Writers of America
"A compelling and endearing story about what matters most in a time when it matters most of all." ― James Riordan, author of Break on Through: The Life & Death of Jim Morrison
"The Final Service is a vivid reminder that the hand of God is in all things." ― Kieth W. Merrill, Academy Award-winning Hollywood producer and director


Playing with the Enemy

  • 2006 Military Writers Society of America Book of the Year
  • 2011 Jerome Holtzman Award for Excellence in Baseball Writing
  • 2013 ILLINOIS READS Book
  • Hey Buddy

  • Finalist for the Indie Next Generation National Book Award for Non Fiction
  • Finalist for the Indie Next Generation National Book Award for Memoir

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)