Famed for a long career of dynamic leadership in Galveston business, civic affairs, and philanthropy.
Born in Freestone County; son of William Lewis and Pherabe Elizabeth Bradley Moody. Educated at Virginia Military Institute, he later traveled and studied abroad before joining his father's cotton firm in Galveston in 1886. He organized in 1889 W. L. Moody and Co., a private bank (still operating). He founded American National Insurance Co. (1905); City National Bank, later called the Moody National Bank; National Hotel Co. (1930); and other firms. He owned "Galveston News" (Texas' oldest newspaper), "Galveston Tribune," "Texas City Sun," 11 ranches, and many other interests.
He took active part in relief and reconstruction after the disastrous Galveston hurricane of 1900.
He married Libbie Rice Shearn in 1890. Their children were Mary Elizabeth (Mrs. E. C. Northen), W. L., III, Shearn, and Libbie (Mrs. Clark W. Thompson).
Known as one of the ten richest men in America, W. L. Moody, Jr., in his lifetime gave the state a school for cerebral palsied children. With his wife he set up (1942) the Moody Foundation, which has since given millions of dollars for charitable, scientific, educational, and religious purposes throughout Texas.