The Desert Sun
January 27, 2017
William Moss, oil executive, movie producer, rancher, author, political confidant, and spiritual mentor, died at his home in Indian Wells, California, on January 22nd at age 96. Born in Wyoming in 1920, Moss grew up in the oil fields of Odessa, Texas and attended San Marcos Academy.
He graduated from Baylor University and served in the Army Air Corps during World War II.
After moving to Hollywood and becoming a movie producer he returned to Texas to raise his family and enter the oil business as an independent oil operator.
In 1968 he organized the Petroleum Corporation of America with J. Howard Marshall of Houston. In 1987 it was merged with Presidio Oil Company. Mr. Moss had residences in Dallas, Washington DC and New York and established Dallas, Texas as his permanent home Moss was a lifelong Republican and a GOP fundraiser. It was in Odessa, TX that he first met another young oil-man, George Herbert Walker Bush, who would have a significant influence on his life.
In 1988 Moss served on the George H.W. Bush for President National Steering Committee.
President Bush appointed Moss Chairman of the President's Drug Advisory Council (within the Executive Branch), to organize and to advise the President on enlisting the country's private sector in a war on drugs. This effort was the genesis of the privately-funded organization, which exists today across 40 states, known as the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions.
Bill Moss and fellow Texan, Robert Mosbacher, former Secretary of the Department of Commerce, were leaders in initiating Team 100; a successful national GOP fundraising organization. Bill Moss was a founder of the National Republican Senatorial Trust Committee.
He founded the William Moss Institute in conjunction with American University, Washington, D.C. Moss served on the University's Board of Trustees and was chairman of the Investment Committee.
At Southern Methodist University, Moss established the Free Enterprise Institute. He was a friend of the late Senator John Tower and was an early supporter of the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies. He served on the Board of the Margaret Thatcher Foundation.
Moss was the Founder and Chairman of the Television Corporation of America which produced the Peabody award-winning "784 Days that Changed America - from Watergate to Resignation."
On Christmas day, 1995, he married businesswoman and active Republican, Dianne Ingels, who subsequently partnered with him in many public service initiatives. Dianne and Bill were instrumental in conceiving, and initially funding, the Washington National Cathedral's Center for Global Justice and Reconciliation with Director Canon John L. Peterson.
At age 85, Moss had a spiritual awakening and his own experience of "amazing grace". He admitted he was an alcoholic and dedicated his life to assisting others on a journey in spirituality to sobriety. He published two books, "Finding Inner Peace During Troubled Times" and "It's Never Too Late".
In the introduction to his book, "It's Never Too Late", President George H. W. Bush wrote: "My guess is that his story will touch many hearts, and perhaps save a soul or two. His message of returning to God and fully realizing and living his faith is both powerful and inspirational. My way of trying to prove 'it's never too late' is to jump out of perfectly good airplanes. Bill's way is to open his heart."
In his earlier life Moss had counted presidents, prime ministers, and world leaders among his friends. Now his heart was broken open for other travelers along the way - among them the greatest and the least, the mighty and the broken - as Moss realized "we are all so much the same." His counsel and prayer were sought out by countless individuals and groups. He was recognized for his spiritual contributions to the work of the Salvation Army and Prison Fellowship. Senator Jack Danforth said of Moss, "my friend was a life force, offering hope to countless people."
In the desert, Dianne and Bill Moss are members of The Vintage Club and Eldorado Country Club, where Bill was a founding member. They were members of Los Angeles Country Club and Bel Air Country Club. Mr. Moss was a member of the Bohemian Club for four decades and enthusiastically attended 38 summer encampments at the Bohemian Grove in northern California.
William Moss' first marriage to actress Jane Withers ended in divorce. They had three children. In addition to his present wife, Dianne, he leaves his daughter Wendy Moss, his son William P. Moss III, 3 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. His son, Randy, pre-deceased him.
Memorial services are scheduled for St. Margaret's Episcopal Church, Palm Desert, CA. on February 1st at 11 AM and at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, Dallas, TX on February 3rd at 3 PM. Heartfelt appreciation is expressed to Dr. Joel Hirschberg, Dr. Khoi Le, Dr. Rachelle Steiner and the staff of Eisenhower 24/7. In lieu of flowers, Bill and Dianne Moss encourage friends to contribute to the capital campaign for Eisenhower's Surgical Hospital by sending contributions to: Eisenhower Medical Center Foundation, 39000 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270.
MOSS, Bill (William Paul Moss II)
Born: 1920, Graybull, Wyoming, U.S.A.
Died: 1/22/2017, Indian Wells, California, U.S.A.
Bill Moss’ westerns – actor:
Overland Mail – 1942 (Ben Briston)
Bonanza – 1964