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Moran, Thomas Francis, 1866-1928



  • Existence: January 9, 1866 - October 21, 1928

Biographical Information

Dr. Thomas Francis Moran was an author and researcher, leader in education and collegiate sports, and avid participant in philanthropic movements. He was born at Columbia, Michigan on January 9, 1866. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan in 1887, and was admitted to the Michigan Bar that same year. From 1887 to 1892, Moran served as the Superintendent of Schools at Elk River, Minnesota. While there he met Louise Upham, whom he married in 1896. After leaving Elk River in 1892, Moran attended John Hopkins University, where he earned his Doctor of Philosophy in 1895.

Following his graduation from John Hopkins in 1895, Moran accepted a position at Purdue University as a Professor of History and Head of the Department of History and Economics. Working with President Smart, Moran was responsible for organizing the Western Intercollegiate Conference (now known as the Big Ten Conference) in 1896, and remained Purdue’s representative to the conference until his death in 1928. Moran was also involved in the establishment of the Purdue Memorial Union and organizing the 1924 semi-centennial celebration of Purdue University.

In addition to his work at Purdue, Moran taught summer classes at the University of Illinois in 1914, and served as the Fred Morgan Kirby Lecturer on Civil Rights at Lafayette College (Pennsylvania) in 1921. He was an active member of the American Historical Association and American Political Science Association, and served as a member of the Indiana State Historical Commission from 1923 to 1925. In 1918, he served as the associate director of the speaking division of the Committee on Public Information in Washington, D.C.

Moran's interests revolved around American presidents, the American government, World War One, education, and democracy. He published a number of books and articles on these subjects, his most well-known including “The Theory and Practice of the English Government,” 1903; “The Formation and Development of the Constitution," 1904; and “American Presidents: Their Individualities and Their Contributions to American Progress,” 1917.

Moran passed away suddenly on October 21, 1928. A memorial event in his honor was held at Purdue on November 16, 1928.


MSF 275, Thomas F. Moran papers, Purdue University Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Thomas F. Moran papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSF 275
Scope and Contents The Thomas Moran papers document the scholarly work and interests of Dr. Thomas F. Moran. The collection consists of unpublished manuscripts written by Moran, including essays, speeches, and lecture notes; publications containing articles written by Moran; newspaper clippings written or collected by Moran; and correspondence.Also included are material about Thomas Moran produced following his death, including newspaper clippings of his obituary and funeral service; material from a...
Dates: circa 1888-1929; Majority of material found within 1914 - 1922