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Bob Moore, founder of Oregon-based Bob's Red Mill global food company, dies at 94

Bob Moore stands in front of the Bob's Red Mill's building
Courtesy of Bob's Red Mill
Bob Moore stands in front of Bob's Red Mill in this undated photo. Moore died at 94 on Feb. 10, 2024.

Bob Moore, a co-founder of international whole-grain foods manufacturer Bob’s Red Mill, has died at 94.

The Milwaukie, Oregon-based company announced that Moore passed away at home Saturday. Born on Feb. 15, 1929 in Portland, Moore died less than a week before his 95th birthday. The company didn’t mention the cause of his death.

Founded in 1978, Bob’s Red Mill initially served only the Portland area, but over the years it grew into a global corporation selling more than 200 products — including cereals, flours and beans — in over 70 countries, from Canada to China to Australia.

In 2010, Moore and his wife Charlee, the company’s other co-founder, set up an employee stock ownership plan through which they transferred the company’s ownership to employees. The company is now 100% owned by its more than 700 employees, according to the company’s press release, and Moore remained on the company’s board until his death.

Moore and Charlee, who died in 2018, made financial donations to Oregon universities over the past decade. Their contribution to Oregon State University and Oregon Health & Science University helped fund their research centers on food and nutrition studies.

In a press release Sunday, OHSU said Moore, a former engineer, not only donated money to the university, but also was interested in the university’s research on health and nutrition and discussed its research findings with Kent Thornburg, OHSU’s professor emeritus of medicine and founding director of Bob and Charlee Moore Institute for Nutrition and Wellness.

Thornburg said in a written statement that Moore was committed to convincing people to eat a healthier diet.

“He saw it as his mission, and it became ours as well,” Thornburg said. “While we have only scratched the surface of our work to improve the health of Oregonians and beyond, we will always be driven by his compulsion to put the health of people over his profits.”

Bob’s Red Mill CEO Trey Winthrop remembered Moore’s legacy in a written statement Saturday: “He did everything in his power to leave us on a strong path forward. All of us feel responsible and motivated to preserve his old-world approach to unprocessed foods; his commitment to pure, high-quality ingredients; and his generosity to employee owners and educational organizations focused on nutritional health.”

Scott Kerman is the executive director of Blanchet House, a Portland-based social services organization providing meals, clothing and shelter to people in need. Kerman said Bob’s Red Mill has long supported Blanchet House with oatmeal as breakfast for the organization’s guests.

“Bob’s Red Mill is a treasured institution in Oregon, and Bob’s story, which I got to hear firsthand when we met, is amazing and inspiring,” Kerman wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Bob’s Red Mill says a celebration of life for Moore is still being planned.
Copyright 2024 Oregon Public Broadcasting.

FILE - Bob Moore, left, with Kent Thornburg, OHSU's professor emeritus of medicine in this undated photo.
Courtesy of Oregon Health & Science University /
FILE - Bob Moore, left, with Kent Thornburg, OHSU's professor emeritus of medicine in this undated photo.

Winston Szeto