Daniel Donnelly Moore Jr., a retired electrical engineer whose mastery of numbers allowed him to break complex codes, died of pneumonia Jan. 17 at the Blakehurst Retirement Community in Towson. The former North Baltimore resident was 89.
Born in Baltimore and raised on Midhurst Road, he was the son of Daniel Donnelly Moore Sr., a radio engineer, and Elizabeth Bixler-Mellier, a homemaker.
He was a 1951 graduate of Gilman School and earned an electrical engineering degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“He was an outstanding pitcher on the Gilman baseball team,” said classmate and friend, Dr. Lewellys “Lew” Barker. “But it was in physics class that I learned how smart he was. He considered physics a lot of fun. He had an adventurous character. He had the confidence and he had the brain power.”
Mr. Moore served in the Air Force and worked in military electronics development. He later joined Martin Marietta Corp. in Eastern Baltimore County and was part of a team that developed the Lacrosse, Titan and Skybolt missiles.
He was part of an early drone surveillance program whose deployment was considered, but not deployed, during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
A longtime friend, J. Roland DeVries, said, “He was sharp and good with the younger generation. He helped my son who had an interest in rockets and technical science. Danny could be witty and yet was serious most of the time. But when he ran into old friends, he was lighter and happier. He was always a good conversationalist.”
His nephew, Daniel D. Evans, said, “He was highly intelligent. He mind was like a clockmaker’s — precise and well organized. He was meticulous. Everything had to be in its place.”
“He was a brilliant computer scientist with broad understandings of physics and chemistry,“ said family friend, William H. “Willie” Moore. “He was able to break codes as a hobby.”
Mr. Moore went on to join IBM in the 1960s. He worked in development of early computerized business systems. He had banking clients in White Plains, New York, San Francisco and Dallas.
“He was once directed to attempt to hack into another division within the company that provided financial services for large banks,” said William “Willie” Moore, who is not related.
Mr. Moore successfully hacked the system within two days.
Mr. Moore was also an amateur home builder and renovated a DuPont Circle townhouse in Washington, D.C., that he used while working with his Pentagon clients.
Mr. Moore also retained ownership of his childhood home until nearly ten years ago when he moved to Blakehurst.
“In 1952 or 1953, he and his parents drove to California and back in their family 1951 Chevy Styleline Deluxe station wagon. That wagon died in 1975, and I bought it from him for $25 in 1979, saving it from going to the wrecker,” said his neighbor William “Willie” Moore. “I still have that car, and on September 2, 2022, I drove over and picked him up for a drive to Midhurst Road. It was the first time the car had [been] driven in 47 years.”
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The Morning Sun
Mr. Moore also owned a computer consulting company and worked on his own projects.
“One was a car alarm that used GPS satellites to locate the car,” said William “Willie” Moore. “LoJack beat them to market.”
Mr. Moore was a savvy investor.
“He was an early investor in Channel 45 which has since grown to be Sinclair Broadcasting. Julian Smith, the founder of Channel 45, was a mentor,” said his unrelated friend, William “Willie” Moore.
Mr. Moore made high-end custom dollhouse kits for modelers. He supplied miniature lighted fireplaces that he made with miniature LED lights.
Survivors include his sister, Mary Agnes Donnelly Moore Evans of Cockeysville; two nephews, Henry C. Evans III of Lawton, Oklahoma, and Daniel D. Evans of Baltimore; three nieces, Betsy Hardner of Jacksonville, Florida, Edith Hyatt of Shirlington, Virginia, Missy Moreland of Baltimore; and lifelong friend, William H. “Willy” Moore of Baltimore. His marriage to Jen Hobbins ended in divorce.
A Mass will be held at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, 5200 N. Charles St.
An earlier version of this article omitted the name of Daniel Donnelly Moore Jr.'s sister, Mary Agnes Donnelly Moore Evans of Cockeysville. It also misstated where his niece, Edith Hyatt, currently lives. She lives in Arlington, Virginia. The Sun regrets the error.