For over 60 years Don Moore has written for newspapers in West Coast Florida. Before graduating in 1963 from the University of Florida’s School of Journalism and Communications, he got a part-time job as a police reporter at The Bradenton Herald daily newspaper in Bradenton, Fla.
While still in college Moore went to work a short while later for the Sarasota Herald Tribune when the daily opened a news bureau in Bradenton. After graduation he was offered a job as bureau chief of The Tampa Tribune’s minuscule news bureau in Bradenton, a position he held for three years.
Moore became an entrepreneur in 1966 when Steve Kimball, publisher of The Anna Maria Islander, gave him the opportunity to join the staff as editor and part owner of his 1,700 paid-circulation weekly newspaper covering Anna Maria Island and eventually Longboat Key, Fla.
A few years later Moore bought Kimball out. By the time he sold his paper to The New York Times in 1980 he was editor and publisher of The Islander that had grown to 9,000 paid circulation. Journalistically it was among the top three weekly papers in Florida.
It was at that point Moore decided, at 40, it was time to retire. He and his wife built a waterfront home on Little Gasparilla Island, located immediately north of Boca Grande, 50 miles to the south, and only accessible by boat. Before the paint was dry on the walls of his new retreat, Derek Dunn-Rankin, the new publisher of the Venice Gondolier weekly newspaper in Venice, Fla. convinced Moore to spend 90 days helping him improve his editorial staff.
Following a heart transplant operation in 1999 and a few other unmemorable experiences Moore has continued to write for what has grown into a much larger newspaper operation. Dunn-Rankin became the publisher of the Charlotte Sun, a weekly he bought in Port Charlotte, Fla. and turned into a daily some years ago.
That was more than 30 years ago and Moore is still working for Dunn-Rankin. After the 90 day adventure, Dunn-Rankin convinced him to stay and become the executive editor of a 10-member editorial staff with little serious journalistic experience. A few years later Moore and his would-be journalists were producing the best weekly paper in Florida.
Moore has continued to write for what has grown into a much larger newspaper operation. Dunn-Rankin became the publisher of the Charlotte Sun, a weekly he bought in Port Charlotte, Fla. and turned into a daily some years ago.
Just by chance, Moore wrote a couple of war stories for the Sun in 2000. These stories were so popular with the paper’s readers he has continued to write war stories on a twice-weekly basis. Over the years he has amassed more than 1,000 stories about local men and women who served their country in time of war.
This web site will eventually include all of the war tales Moore has written for the Sun over the years. Hopefully, the site will be expanded to include additional war stories from people who live in other places beyond Florida’s West Coast.
Without them it wouldn’t have happened
Mary Auen has been my strong right hand in the production of this web site. Without her assistance none of these stories would be up on the War Tales web site on a regular basis.
She is the one who figures out the mechanics of getting the stories on the page and the placement and size of the pictures that go with each story and corrects my spelling transgressions. Mary makes it happen.
The site was created by Brendan Moore, my nephew, who is a computer whiz-kid with a master’s degree in computer engineering. It was his suggestion we keep the site simple and open it free to the public.
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