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John G. Moebes

Gender: Male

Ethnicity: Caucasian

Biographical/Historical note:

John G. "Jack" Moebes was born April 10, 1911, in Decatur, Alabama. He attended Loyola University on a football scholarship and then received a law degree from Cumberland University in 1935, although he never sat for the bar exam. He worked in a Birmingham steel mill until 1942, when he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. During his service in a photo reconnaissance unit in the South Pacific, he discovered his passion for photography. After completing his tour of duty in 1945, he returned to the states and pursued a career in journalism and photography. He began at the now defunct Wilmington Star newspaper and then in 1946 he moved to Greensboro where he began his thirty-year career with the Greensboro Record and the Greensboro Daily News.

Moebes’ 20,000 assignments for the papers ranged from political events of the day to the Vegetable Zoo, a regular feature which showcased vegetables carved to resemble animals. His most well-known photograph was the only picture taken of all four North Carolina A&T State University students at involved in the sit-in at Woolworth's in Greensboro on February 1, 1960. The photo is on permanent display at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. as well as the Greensboro Historical Museum. Moebes was also on assignment at the Gillespie School in 1957 when it became one of the first schools in the South to voluntarily integrate, and several of his pictures from the event were published in Life Magazine. Moebes retired from the Greensboro newspaper in 1976 and died in Greensboro on August 7, 2002, at the age of 91.

Items created by this individual or group:
Item thumbnail image Oral history interview with Jack Moebes by Eugene Pfaff
Date: April 18, 1979
By: John G. Moebes
From: GreensboroVOICES Collection

In this transcript of an April 18, 1979, oral history interview conducted by Eugene Pfaff with Jack Moebes, Moebes primarily discusses the circumstances surrounding his photographing of the “Greens...

Item thumbnail image Oral history interview with Jack Moebes by Jim Schlosser
Date: December 17, 1997
By: John G. Moebes
From: GreensboroVOICES Collection

In this transcript of a December 17, 1997, oral history interview conducted by Jim Schlosser with Jack Moebes, Moebes primarily recounts his experiences as a photographer of civil rights activities...