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Spotlight – Granville Alexander (Zandy) Moore

Last updated 02/15/2024

Dr. Granville Alexander Moore, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Southern California, died on January 15, 2024, of congestive heart failure. 

Services will be held at 11 a.m. on March 2nd, 2024 at St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral, 514 West Adams Boulevard, Los Angeles, where Zandy was a longtime member of Canterbury USC.

Please let us know if you are planning to attend the funeral and reception. RSVP HERE.

For further questions, please contact: Levon Mardikyan

The service will be streamed 11 a.m. on March 2nd Pacific Time and recorded at

Zandy’s ashes will be interred in Oak Grove Cemetery in Lexington, Virginia at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to Zandy can be made to a charity of your choice, or to St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral.

“Zandy,” as he was affectionately known, was born on October 8th, 1937, in Manila, Philippines, to Rear Admiral Granville Alexander Moore and Emily Woodward Moore, both of Lexington, Virginia.  Admiral Moore commanded the USS Herndon in the invasion of Normandy and was awarded the Silver Star for his actions there.

Only weeks before Zandy’s birth, his family lived in Shanghai, where his father was stationed on the gunboat USS Oahu.  On August 20, 1937, the Japanese began bombing the city in a battle to take it from China, forcing all Americans and international residents to flee by boat.  Zandy’s mother ran, under bombardment, heavily pregnant and carrying four-year-old daughter Jane, to the Yangtze River dock.  They safely evacuated to Manila, where her son was born some six weeks later.

After a few nomadic military years, Zandy and his mother and sister returned to Lexington in 1941, where he found a strong sense of home among aunts and cousins, in a setting his ancestors had occupied for over 200 years.  His memories of living there until the end of the war fed a trove of stories in later life when it was time for a memoir, “Nurtured in Lexington.”  He remembered leaning against the wall of the house and watching soldiers passing through, returning from war, and wondering when he would see his father.  The Lexington years also fostered his classic Southern humor, along with a genteel and all-embracing hospitality.

Admitted to Harvard at only 16, he obtained his doctorate in 1963 from Columbia University, and became a teacher, colleague, administrator, lifelong researcher, and friend and mentor to countless people who crossed his path.  He was a strong interdisciplinary scholar and made significant contributions to anthropology in the areas of Panama, Guatemala, and in many areas of Latin American culture, including Mayan civilization and Latin American ritual and symbolism, law, and history.  His interests were wide-ranging and included such subjects as Homeokinetics and Occupational Science.

After teaching at various colleges and universities, including Emory in Atlanta and the University of Florida in Gainesville, Zandy settled in Los Angeles.  As Professor of Anthropology at the University of Southern California from 1978 to 2013, he served  13 years as Department Chair between 1980 and 2010.  He consistently held membership on dozens of advisory committees in a wide sweep of matters ranging from cultural exchange with Mexico to reviewing students’ living conditions.  During his tenure at USC, he served in leadership positions including USC’s Center for Visual Anthropology and as liaison with Adjunct Professor Jane Goodall. 

He taught in numerous anthropological disciplines in both undergraduate and graduate settings, honor students classes, including theory and history, principles of human organization, cross-cultural perspective, family and culture, studies in developing societies, politics and social organization, and ethnographic film analysis, including the deep exploration of cultures through film.  He also contributed to the newly-emerging body of work on ethnographic field methods and urban anthropology in film, and guided both his masters and doctoral students to publication in both film and print.

He authored nine books on anthropology and more than 100 scholarly articles, including  book and film reviews and academic papers. 

He is survived by his forever love and avid world-traveling partner, Levon Mardikyan, who shared his life for 39 years. They married in 2017. And, by a succession of their beloved dogs; he is also survived by niece and nephews Alison, Alex, and Colin Roberts.  He was preceded in death by his parents and by his sister, Jane Moore Roberts (Mrs. Albert Roberts III), and by his nephew, Albert Tate Roberts.