Graham Moore
Moore in 2022
Moore in 2022
Born (1981-10-18) October 18, 1981 (age 42)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
OccupationScreenwriter, author, director
Alma materColumbia University
Notable worksThe Sherlockian, The Imitation Game, The Last Days of Night

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

Early life and family

Moore was born in Chicago, Illinois and raised on the city's north side.[2] He is "the son of two lawyers who divorced and then married two other lawyers";[3] Moore's father, Gary Moore, 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.[4][5][6]

Moore's parents divorced when he was young.[2] Moore's stepfather is Cook County Circuit Court Judge Neil Cohen.[7] Raised Jewish,[2] 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.

During his Academy Award acceptance speech in February 2015, Moore stated:[9]

When I was 16 years old, I tried to kill myself because I felt weird and I felt different, and I felt like I did not belong. And now I'm standing here, and so I would like this moment to be for this kid out there who feels like she's weird or she's different or she doesn't fit in anywhere: Yes, you do. I promise you do. Stay weird, stay different

This led viewers to believe that Graham Moore was gay and highlighted his own experience as an LGBTQ youth. Many people praised the speech on Twitter comparing it to the openly gay screenwriter Dustin Lance Black who won an Oscar for Milk (2008). However, Moore has clarified to reporters he is in fact straight and not gay.[10]

The speech has since drawn criticisms for his use of the word "weird" and for misleading audiences. J. Bryan Lowder of Slate wrote, "without harping on Moore's flustered speech too much, it's worth taking a moment to explain the trouble with that equivalence more generally and to think about why gay people might be so sensitive to it—especially coming as it did from the straight writer of a film that desperately marketed itself to audiences and Academy voters as a gay political statement."[11] Ira Maddison III of Buzzfeed sharply criticized the language and vaugeness of Moore's speech writing, "We don't need a straight, white male who wrote a straight-washed movie about Alan Turing as our savior. We need diverse women and men who are looking to the future, not people looking to past and crafting a speech that will appeal in its vagueness to anyone who's "weird.""[12]

Moore lives in Los Angeles, California. He married a woman in 2019 and together they have a child.[13]


Moore in 2016

Moore began his writing career working with childhood friend Ben Epstein, who was attending Tisch School of the Arts in New York City.[2] One of his earliest Hollywood jobs was on the writing staff of the short-lived television series 10 Things I Hate About You.[14]

Moore's first book, The Sherlockian, was on the New York Times bestseller list for three weeks.[3]

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.[15] 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).

Moore's second book, The Last Days of Night, was 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.[16] Moore has adapted the screenplay for The Last Days of Night to be directed by Oscar-nominated director of The Imitation Game Morten Tyldum.[17] Moore will write, direct, and produce the sci-fi thriller Naked Is the Best Disguise for Studio 8.[18]

Moore's first film as director, The Outfit, premiered at the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival on February 14, 2022. It received positive reviews.



Short film

Year Title Director Writer Producer
2005 Pirates vs. Ninjas No Yes Yes
2008 The Waiting Room Yes Yes Yes

Feature film

Year Title Director Writer Executive
2014 The Imitation Game No Yes Yes
2022 The Outfit Yes Yes No

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2011 Anthony Awards Best First Novel
The Sherlockian
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
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
PEN Center USA Best Screenplay Won
2016 The Washington Post Notable fiction in 2016 The Last Days of Night Nominated
2017 American Library Association Year's best in genre fiction for adult readers Nominated


  1. ^ "Black Bear Pictures Wins Graham Moore Black List Script Imitation Game",; accessed February 23, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d Hanks, E.A. (September 27, 2013). "How Benedict Cumberbatch And Alan Turing Helped A Writer Find Success In Hollywood". BuzzFeed. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  3. ^ a b "How "The Imitation Game" Screenwriter Graham Moore Made It In Hollywood". Buzzfeed, Sept. 27, 2013, E.A. Hanks.
  4. ^ Dorning, Mike (July 20, 2009). "Michelle Obama's confidant-in-chief: Susan Sher". Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  5. ^ "It's all about mom at first-time novelist Graham Moore's book party at the veep's house". The Washington Post. December 2, 2010.
  6. ^ Dornic, Matt (December 2, 2010). "Author Graham Moore's Presidential Perks". Mediabistro. Archived from the original on November 11, 2014. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  7. ^ a b Sweet, Lynn (December 8, 2010). ""Sherlockian" author Graham Moore: Sleuthing with Susan Sher, Valerie Jarrett and the Bidens". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on February 25, 2015. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  8. ^ "RISING STAR PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD". University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. Archived from the original on November 11, 2014. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  9. ^ Goodman, Jessica (February 22, 2015). "Graham Moore Gives The Oscars' Most Moving Acceptance Speech". The Huffington Post.
  10. ^ "The Murky Gay Politics Surrounding the 'Stay Weird' Oscars Speech". The Atlantic. February 24, 2015. Retrieved July 3, 2023.
  11. ^ Lowder, J. Bryan (February 23, 2015). "Is It "Weird" to Be Gay? What Graham Moore's Speech Really Means". Slate. Retrieved July 3, 2023.
  12. ^ "Graham Moore's Oscar Speech Was Not For LGBT Kids". Buzzfeed. February 23, 2015. Retrieved July 3, 2023.
  13. ^ "Cracking the Code of Scripter Winner Graham Moore's Success". Annenburg Media Center, NeonTommy, Maureen Lee Lenker, February 4, 2015.
  14. ^ Formo, Brian (September 10, 2014). "TIFF 2014 Interview: Graham Moore, Screenwriter of 'The Imitation Game'". Crave Online. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  15. ^ Hollywood's 'Black List' of best unproduced scripts of 2011 revealed,; accessed February 23, 2015.
  16. ^ Official Website: "Graham Moore" Archived June 1, 2016, at the Wayback Machine,; accessed April 3, 2016.
  17. ^ "Financiers Spark To Edison-Westinghouse Pic 'The Last Days Of Night'; Graham Moore & Morten Tyldum To Reteam". May 3, 2016.
  18. ^ Kit, Borys (February 27, 2018). "'Imitation Game' Writer Sets Directorial Debut With Female-Led Futuristic Thriller (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  19. ^ Moore, Graham (June 27, 2017). The Sherlockian - Hachett Book Group. Grand Central. ISBN 9780446573955.
  20. ^ "The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore".
  21. ^ "The Holdout by Graham Moore".