William Roger "Bill" Moss

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William Roger "Bill" Moss (September 17, 1935 – August 2, 2005) was an elected official, community leader, and one-time music impresario in the Central Ohio area, and was recognized nationally for his efforts concerning educational matters and practices.

Early life

Moss was born in Miami, Florida. His parents were Daniel (originally from Bahamas) and Mattie Lee Moss, originally from Gainesville, FL . Upon graduating from Booker T Washington High School in 1954, Moss joined the Army and was stationed in France. Here is where Moss was first bit by the entertainment bug, as he toured with many military music groups throughout Europe and the Far East.[1]

Upon returning to the States, Moss moved to Los Angeles, California. While in Los Angeles, Moss went to Los Angeles Community College. managed a liquor store, worked for radio stations, and married, having a daughter, Sonya.[1]

After being disenchanted with the Hollywood scene, Moss moved back to Miami in 1962.[1]

One of the turning points in the career of Bill Moss came in 1964, when he moved to Columbus, Ohio, which was to be his home for the next 41 years. Having been divorced, Moss married Ruth, who was to be his wife for the rest of his life. They had four children, Loren C. Moss, Daniel C. Moss, William R. Moss III and Elynor R. Moss.[2] For the next three years, Bill and Ruth Moss were to own and operate a restaurant, Nassau Daddy's Pit Barbecue, which specialized in barbecue items.[1]

Moss recorded a few songs musically, including the 1969 song 'Sock it to 'em, soul brother'. In 1970, Moss founded his own record label, Capsoul, which was designed to be the Columbus alternative to Detroit's Motown.[3]

Political career

After traveling the country for years to promote his record label, Moss became an activist in the school desegregation busing issue, a movement which he opposed. This led Moss to make his first run for political office, an Independent run for the United States House of Representatives in 1976, against incumbent Samuel L. Devine. Moss was defeated, but garnered nearly eight percent of the vote, and was blamed by many Democrats for the defeat of Columbus City Councilwoman Fran Ryan in that contest.[4]

This gave Moss the name recognition and momentum he needed to gain election to the Columbus Board of Education the following year, a race in which he received over 50,000 votes.[5][6][7]

Moss felt that higher office was his destiny, but the voters did not share this same vision, as Moss was defeated in a United States House of Representatives primary in 1978, and a State House of Representatives election in 1980.[6][7][8]

Moss declined to seek reelection in 1981. He next served in the Ohio National Guard, where he received recognition as Ohio Soldier of the Year.[9] During this period he also earned a bachelor's degree in Broadcast Management from Capital University in Bexley, Ohio.

Moss returned to elective politics in 1985, returning to the Columbus Ohio Board of Education.[5][6][7] For a brief period in 1988, Moss was slated to be the Vice Presidential running mate of Senator Eugene McCarthy in Ohio.[10] Moss was defeated for reelection in 1989.[5][7] He returned to the Board in 1991,[5][7] wrote a book entitled, School Desegregation: Enough is Enough,[11] and started a business selling African imports. In July 1992, Mr. Moss attended the Democratic National Convention where he served as a delegate for Jerry Brown who was seeking the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.

In 1994 Moss lost a hotly contested primary for the Ohio House of Representatives to Charleta Tavares, 57-43%.[12] The following year, 1995, Moss was the Democratic nominee for Mayor of Columbus, Ohio. He was to go down to defeat in that election to incumbent Mayor Greg Lashutka, 69-32%.[7]

In 1997, Moss was returned to the Board in a special election, and was reelected in 1999.[5][7] In 2003, Moss was defeated in his final political run, trying for reelection to the Columbus Board of Education.[5][7]

In the summer of 2004, The Numero Group released a compilation, Eccentric Soul: The Capsoul Label. This brought Capsoul back into the spotlight, and led to Moss being interviewed on National Public Radio's Weekend Edition.[3]

Later in 2004, Moss was an active leader in Ohio challenging the reelection of President George W. Bush.[13] Moss testified in the Ohio House of Representatives Chamber when members of Congress held investigative hearings in December 2004.[14] Later, Moss was one of the organizers and leaders of a bus caravan to the nations capitol to protest and challenge the inauguration of President Bush.[15] Moss spoke before the national press club on this matter.[16] Bill and Ruth Moss also filed lawsuits against President Bush and Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer in an effort to have the election results overturned.[17]

In 2005, Moss did not file to run in a first ever primary for the Columbus Board of Education, challenging the validity of such a primary. Moss then launched a campaign as a write-in candidate for the Board if the Courts were to deny him a spot on the general election ballot.[18] Moss was to be denied this final campaign, as he died on August 2, 2005, one week after suffering a stroke attending a college reunion in Pennsylvania.[19]

At the time of his death, Moss was survived by his wife Ruth C. Moss, siblings Cathryn Moss, Lavern Moss and Samuel Moss. Children Sonya C. Stephens, Loren C. Moss, Daniel C. Moss, William R. Moss III and Elynor R. Moss. Grandchildren Brandi Stephens, Careese Stephens, Gary Stephens, Kennedy Stephens, Rubi D. Moss, William R. Moss IV and Natalie Moss.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 The Columbus Dispatch, John Futty, October 15, 1995
  2. 2.0 2.1 "BillMoss.org". http://billmoss.org/. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Capsoul: Ohio's Answer to Motown". https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=3806369. 
  4. "Clerk of the United States House of Representatives". http://clerk.house.gov/members/electionInfo/1976election.pdf. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Franklin County (OH) Board of Elections
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 The Columbus Citizen-Journal
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 The Columbus Dispatch
  8. The Ohio Blue Book 1977–1978 and 1979–1980
  9. Bill Moss Campaign literature, 1989
  10. From Ohio Presidential petition, 1988
  11. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0963411500/002-2916372-1217668?n=283155 Amazon product listing
  12. The Ohio Blue Book, 1993–1994
  13. http://www.blackmag.co.uk/blacknews/articles/scaredstate.php
  14. https://web.archive.org/web/20070807115611/http://www.truthout.org/cblog.shtml
  15. Beckerman, Ray (December 31, 2004). "Ohio Election Fraud (Formerly "Fairness"): January 5th Freedom Ride From Columbus to Washington". http://fairnessbybeckerman.blogspot.com/2004/12/january-5th-freedom-ride-from-columbus.html. 
  16. "VotersUnite!". http://www.votersunite.org/article.asp?id=4525. 
  17. http://freepress.org/images/departments/Election_Contest_2.pdf , http://freepress.org/images/departments/Election_Contest_3_(Moyer).pdf
  18. The Columbus Dispatch, June 13, 2005
  19. "Onnnews.com". http://www.onnnews.com/Global/story.asp?S=3673638. 

External links