Dan Moore Sr., APEX Museum

A Legend Gone: Founder of Atlanta’s APEX Museum Dead At 88

Moore credits former Morehouse College President Benjamin E. Mays for inspiring him to create the APEX.

Dan Moore Sr., founder of the APEX, the oldest Black history museum in Atlanta, has died. He was 88. The APEX announced his death via their website Tuesday.

“It is with deep sadness and sorrow that we announce the passing of our Founder and CEO, Dan Moore Sr. We celebrate his legacy and 45 years of commitment to the community and the museum. Please keep the immediate and extended APEX family in your prayers.”

Moore was born on November 20, 1935. The Philadelphia native relocated to Atlanta in 1974 and founded the African-American Panoramic Experience (APEX)museum in 1978. Located in Atlanta’s historic Sweet Auburn district, The Apex is “ solely dedicated to telling the rich and often untold story of people of the African Diaspora.”

Moore said he was inspired to create the APEX museum after learning about the life and activism of Benjamin E. Mays.

“Who will remember this man 30 years from now? Why doesn’t Atlanta, of all the cities, have a Black history museum,” he said in a 2023 interview with The Champion.

Moore received a gift from a donor, which allowed him to purchase the building at 135 Auburn Avenue. According to its website, the APEX has received over 65,000 visitors.

Moore was also a filmmaker. He produced several documentaries, including The Journey, Sweet Auburn Street of Pride, and Welcome Home, which followed the filmmaker as he traveled to Liberia, West Africa. 

The activist and filmmaker received the Joseph R. Biden Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award in October  2023. 

Dan Moore Sr. is survived by his sons, Dan Jr. and Edwin Moore, six grandchildren, and 18 grandchildren, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

A public viewing will be held on March 8 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Willie A. Watkins Historic West End Chapel in Atlanta. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, March 9, at 11 a.m. at the Midway Missionary Baptist Church in College Park, GA.