Upon winning an Oscar for his adapted screenplay of The Imitation Game, Graham Moore gave one of the most-discussed speeches of Sunday’s Academy Awards. He explained that he had attempted suicide at age 16, and urged young people watching the show, “Stay weird. Stay different. And then when it’s your turn and you are standing on this stage, please pass the same message to the next person who comes along.”
A nice Jewish boy, Moore brought his mother with him to the Academy Awards.
Moore’s mother is not just any Yiddishe Mameh, but Susan Sher, who formerly served as Michelle Obama’s chief-of-staff as well as the official White House liaison to the Jewish community (the position currently held by Matt Nosanchuk).
Sher met the now-First Lady in 1991, when she was still Michelle Robinson. For a while, Sher employed Obama at the University of Chicago Hospitals, and the two stayed connected. Eventually, Sher followed Obama to Washington D.C., where she worked for the Obama administration for two years.
Sher’s current projects include advocacy to build the Obama Presidential Library in South Side Chicago, as part of her role as senior advisor to University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer.
Moore’s next steps include finishing his second novel and potentially continuing his work on the screenplay adaption of non-fiction thriller Devil in the White City (said city being, yes, Chicago).
“My Judaism has felt more and more important to me, and more and more of a social identifier,” Moore recently told the Jewish Journal. Like mother, like son.