Sir Thomas Moore, WWII veteran who raised millions in COVID-19 funds, dies at 100

GUY DAVIES
·3 min read

Capt. Sir Thomas Moore, the World War II veteran who raised tens of millions of dollars for front-line health workers during the coronavirus pandemic, has died at the age of 100.

The veteran, affectionately known as "Captain Tom," tested positive for COVID-19 last week and was hospitalized on Sunday. Moore had received treatment for pneumonia over the past few weeks, his family said. His death was confirmed on social media accounts run by his family.

Moore rose to international prominence in April 2020 when he began fundraising for the health workers who had treated him for cancer by walking around his garden in Buckinghamshire, England, in the weeks leading up to his 100th birthday.

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PHOTO: British World War II veteran Captain Tom Moore poses doing a lap of his garden in the village of Marston Moretaine, 50 miles north of London, April 16, 2020. (Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images, FILE)
PHOTO: British World War II veteran Captain Tom Moore poses doing a lap of his garden in the village of Marston Moretaine, 50 miles north of London, April 16, 2020. (Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images, FILE)
PHOTO: Queen Elizabeth II awards Captain Sir Thomas Moore with the insignia of Knight Bachelor at Windsor Castle on July 17, 2020 in Windsor, England. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images, FILE)
PHOTO: Queen Elizabeth II awards Captain Sir Thomas Moore with the insignia of Knight Bachelor at Windsor Castle on July 17, 2020 in Windsor, England. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images, FILE)

Moore initially set out to raise just £1,000 ($1,370). In the end he is estimated to have raised £33 million ($45 million) for essential workers. His efforts captured the hearts of millions in the U.K. and abroad in lockdown.

PHOTO: A mural depicting 100 year old army veteran and NHS fund raiser Captain Tom Moore can be seen in a loyalist housing estate, May 18, 2020, in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Charles Mcquillan/Getty Images, FILE)
PHOTO: A mural depicting 100 year old army veteran and NHS fund raiser Captain Tom Moore can be seen in a loyalist housing estate, May 18, 2020, in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Charles Mcquillan/Getty Images, FILE)

In July, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. Reacting to that news, Moore displayed his trademark humility and sense of humor, saying: "I'm still Tom Moore. I mean, it's nice. It's nice, I think Sir Thomas sounds very nice, but inside I haven't changed. Nothing's changed inside."

During New Year's Eve celebrations in London, Moore was honored with his own personalized fireworks display, complete with his trademark walking aid and military badges. He was hailed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan as a “true national hero.”

Moore’s fundraising exploits made headlines across the globe and inspired a Russian veteran, 97-year-old Ziniaida Korneva, to take up similar efforts.

PHOTO: A violinist plays in front of a tribute to Captain Sir Tom Moore that is displayed at Piccadilly Circus shortly after it was announced that he has died on Feb. 2, 2021 in London. (Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
PHOTO: A violinist plays in front of a tribute to Captain Sir Tom Moore that is displayed at Piccadilly Circus shortly after it was announced that he has died on Feb. 2, 2021 in London. (Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Community police officers lay flowers to the tributes in the village of Marston Moretaine, north of London on Feb. 3, 2021, home of the late Captain Tom Moore following his death on Feb. 2. (Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Community police officers lay flowers to the tributes in the village of Marston Moretaine, north of London on Feb. 3, 2021, home of the late Captain Tom Moore following his death on Feb. 2. (Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images)

MORE: 97-year-old Russian veteran raises money amid coronavirus pandemic

Queen Elizabeth is sending a private message of condolence to Moore's family.

"Her Majesty very much enjoyed meeting Captain Sir Tom and his family at Windsor last year," a Buckingham Palace spokesperson told ABC News. "Her thoughts, and those of the Royal Family, are with them, recognizing the inspiration he provided for the whole nation and others across the world."

PHOTO: A mural of Captain Sir Tom Moore is seen on a building in Southport, Britain, Feb. 3, 2021. (Phil Noble/Reuters)
PHOTO: A mural of Captain Sir Tom Moore is seen on a building in Southport, Britain, Feb. 3, 2021. (Phil Noble/Reuters)
PHOTO: Flowers lie along a mural of late record-breaking centenarian Captain Tom Moore, who died on Feb. 2, 2021, in Two Gates, Tamworth, Britain Feb. 3, 2021. (Jason Cairnduff/Reuters)
PHOTO: Flowers lie along a mural of late record-breaking centenarian Captain Tom Moore, who died on Feb. 2, 2021, in Two Gates, Tamworth, Britain Feb. 3, 2021. (Jason Cairnduff/Reuters)

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Moore "became not just a national inspiration but a beacon of hope for the world."

"Captain Sir Tom Moore was a hero in the truest sense of the world," Johnson said in a statement. "In the dark days of the Second World War he fought for freedom and in the face of this country's deepest post war crisis he united us all, he cheered us all up, and he embodied the triumph of the human spirit. Our thoughts are with his daughter Hannah and all his family."

ABC's Cheri Preston reports for ABC News Radio:

Sir Thomas Moore, WWII veteran who raised millions in COVID-19 funds, dies at 100 originally appeared on abcnews.go.com