Archie Moore: recognized, finally, by his home state

The only question about whether or not Archie Moore, one of the greatest boxers of all-time, deserved to be in the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame was a fairly important one:

Was Moore really from Mississippi?

Some published reports had him being born in Collinsville, Ill., in 1916. Others had him being born in the Delta town of Benoit, in Bolivar County, in 1913. His mother said he was born in Benoit.

And perhaps Archie Moore, who died in 1998, should have the last word on this. Said he: “My mother should know since she was there.”

Says Billy Moore, Archie’s 68-year-old son who lives in San Diego, “My daddy was born in Benoit, Mississippi, and he was proud of it. If I heard him say it once, I heard him say it hundreds of times.”

This much we now know: Archie Moore was born Archie Lee Wright on Dec. 13, 1913, in Benoit. His parents separated when he was an infant. He and a sister were sent to live with an aunt and uncle in Collinsville, Ill., 14 miles from St. Louis, when he was 3. He was raised in St. Louis and took on the surname of his aunt and uncle, Cleveland and Lillie Pearl Moore.

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