Graham Moore (writer)

Graham Moore

Graham Moore

Graham Moore by Matt Sayles
Born (1981-10-18) October 18, 1981
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Occupation Author, Screenwritter
Nationality American
Alma mater Columbia University
Notable works The Sherlockian, The Imitation Game, The Last Days of Night

Graham Moore (born October 18, 1981) is an American screenwriter and author widely known for his 2010 novel The Sherlockian,[1] as well as his screenplay for the historical film The Imitation Game,[2] which topped the 2011 Black List for screenplays and won the 2014 Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay (awarded February 2015).

Moore’s second book, The Last Days of Night, will be published by Random House on August 16, 2016. Set in 1888 New York City, the novel focuses on the heated rivalry between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse during the advent of electricity and is told through the eyes of Westinghouse’s attorney, Paul Cravath.[3] Moore himself has adapted the screenplay for The Last Days of Night to be directed by Oscar-nominated director of The Imitation Game Morten Tyldum.[4]


Moore was born in Chicago, Illinois and raised on the city's north side[5] "the son of two lawyers who divorced and then married two other lawyers."[6]

Raised Jewish,[5] Moore graduated from the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools[7][8] in 1999 and received a bachelor of arts degree in religious history in 2003 from Columbia University. Moore developed a strong love of mystery stories when he was learning to read, later believing he'd have a career in music.[6] Alan Turing had been Moore's childhood hero since he was 14.[9]

At Columbia, unsure about a writing career, Moore took the advice of a professor to dedicate five years to any profession he pursued, "because it takes that long to get halfway decent at anything."[6] Moore stayed in New York, playing in a number of rock bands, creating a music studio in the basement of a heavy metal art gallery on Rivington Street, working as a sound engineer (including work on several Garnier shampoo commercials),[6] collecting sound equipment[6] and beginning his writing career. For several years, he wrote scripts every day from 10-6 with a friend he'd known since he was 6, Ben Epstein followed by evening studio work.[6]

Early on, Moore would wake up in his small New York apartment and dress in a coat and tie before sitting down to write, "telling myself writing was my job and I was getting dressed for work—which was like telling myself, dress for the job you want."[10] His first book, The Sherlockian, was on the New York Times bestseller list for three weeks.[6]

During his Academy Award acceptance speech in February 2015, Moore acknowledged he had attempted suicide when he was 16.[11]

Moore lives in Los Angeles, California.[12]


Moore's father is an insurance defense attorney and his mother, Susan Sher (née Steiner), works for the University of Chicago. His mother was formerly the City of Chicago's chief lawyer and First Lady Michelle Obama's chief of staff.[13][14][15] Moore's parents divorced when he was young.[5]

Moore's stepfather is Cook County Circuit Court Judge Neil Cohen.[7] Graham's maternal grandfather, Charles Steiner, was a physician in New Jersey who co-founded the West Essex General Hospital in Livingston, New Jersey;[16][17] his grandmother, Gloria L. Steiner, was a psychologist who co-authored the book Children, Families, and HIV/AIDS.[18] His brother, Evan Charles Moore, is a technology entrepreneur.


Moore began his writing career working with childhood friend Ben Epstein, who was attending Tisch School of the Arts in New York City.[5] One of his earliest Hollywood jobs was on the writing staff of the short-lived television series 10 Things I Hate About You.[19] His adapted screenplay for the 2014 film The Imitation Game, based on the biography Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges, topped the 2011 Black List of the best unproduced scripts in Hollywood.[20] The script earned Moore numerous nominations, including the 2014 Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay, and ultimately won the 2014 Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay at the 87th Academy Awards (awarded February 2015). He adapted his book The Last Days of Night into a screenplay for a film which will star Eddie Redmayne.[21]


Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result
2014 British Independent Film Awards Best Screenplay The Imitation Game Nominated
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards Best Adapted Screenplay Nominated
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award Best Adapted Screenplay Nominated
Chicago Film Critics Association Best Adapted Screenplay Nominated
2015 Golden Globe Award Best Screenplay Nominated
Critics' Choice Movie Awards Best Adapted Screenplay Nominated
International Online Film Critics' Poll Awards Best Adapted Screenplay Nominated
AACTA International Awards Best Screenplay Nominated
USC Scripter Award Best Adapted Screenplay Won
British Academy Film Awards Best Adapted Screenplay Nominated
Writers Guild of America Awards Best Adapted Screenplay Won
Satellite Awards Best Adapted Screenplay Won
Academy Awards Best Adapted Screenplay Won


  1. Fiction Book Group: "The Sherlockian",; accessed February 23, 2015.
  2. "Black Bear Pictures Wins Graham Moore Black List Script Imitation Game",; accessed February 23, 2015.
  3. Official Website: "Graham Moore",; accessed April 3, 2016.
  4. "Financiers Spark To Edison-Westinghouse Pic 'The Last Days Of Night'; Graham Moore & Morten Tyldum To Reteam".
  5. 1 2 3 4 Hanks, E.A. "How Benedict Cumberbatch And Alan Turing Helped A Writer Find Success In Hollywood". BuzzFeed. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "How "The Imitation Game" Screenwriter Graham Moore Made It In Hollywood". Buzzfeed, Sept. 27, 2013, E.A. Hanks.
  7. 1 2 Sweet, Lynn (December 8, 2010). ""Sherlockian" author Graham Moore: Sleuthing with Susan Sher, Valerie Jarrett and the Bidens". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  8. "RISING STAR PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD". University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  9. "Imitation Game' writer Graham Moore has wanted to tell Alan Turing's story since he was 14". Hitfix, Kristopher Tapley, Sep 7, 2014.
  10. "The Gronvall Report: Screenwriter Graham Moore on THE IMITATION GAME". Movie City News, Andrea Gronvall, December 10th, 2014.
  11. Goodman, Jessica (February 22, 2015). "Graham Moore Gives The Oscars' Most Moving Acceptance Speech". The Huffington Post.
  12. "Cracking the Code of Scripter Winner Graham Moore's Success". Annenburg Media Center, NeonTommy, Maureen Lee Lenker,February 4, 2015.
  13. Dorning, Mike (July 20, 2009). "Michelle Obama's confidant-in-chief: Susan Sher". Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  14. "It's all about mom at first-time novelist Graham Moore's book party at the veep's house". Washington Post. December 2, 2010.
  15. Dornic, Matt (December 2, 2010). "Author Graham Moore's Presidential Perks". Mediabistro. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  16. "Paid Notice: Deaths: Dr. Steiner". The New York Times. June 29, 2011. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
  17. "Dr. Charles Steiner". Retrieved November 14, 2014.
  18. "Dr. Gloria Steiner obituary". The New York Times. July 7, 2008. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
  19. Formo, Brian (September 10, 2014). "TIFF 2014 Interview: Graham Moore, Screenwriter of 'The Imitation Game'". Crave Online. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  20. Hollywood's 'Black List' of best unproduced scripts of 2011 revealed,; accessed February 23, 2015.
  22. "The Sherlockian - Hachett Book Group".
  23. "The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore".
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