Orthodontics lost a true icon when Alton W. Moore passed away in Seattle on October 23, 2007. Al received his dental degree from the University of California at San Francisco in 1941. After graduation, he accepted an internship at the Zoller Memorial Dental Clinic at the University of Chicago and then embarked on his academic career at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, where he was a faculty member in the Department of Oral Pathology and Oral Diagnosis from 1942 to 1944. He then went into orthodontics, completing his orthodontic education in 1945 at the Department of Orthodontics at the University of Illinois in Urbana under the direction of Allan Brodie. He joined the University of Illinois orthodontic faculty for 3 years while concomitantly earning a master of science degree and practicing part time in the office of John Thompson.
In 1948, Al was hired to be the first chair and founder of the new Department of Orthodontics being established at the University of Washington in Seattle. For the next 17 years, he served as its chair; under his leadership, the department became a model for graduate orthodontic education and research. He also enticed his best friend and colleague, Richard A. Riedel, who had recently finished his orthodontic training at Northwestern University, at that time in Chicago, Illinois, to join him on the faculty in Seattle. Al and Dick worked together over the years to establish one of the world’s outstanding orthodontic programs.
The objectives of his program were “to teach the students to think independently and to evaluate critically their own work; to acquaint the students with all the literature pertaining directly or indirectly to orthodontics; and to train students in the procedures and methods of original research.”