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Albany native will not settle for just an average job

Charlie Moore, following graduation at Georgia, could have returned to Albany, where he grew up, and lived the laid back lifestyle of his youth.

Many of his friends, including his brother, Duncan, have put down roots in their hometown which Charlie considers a lifestyle that has enviable options. In fact, when time allows for a sojourn of significant duration from his suburban Manhattan home to the fields and woods of Dougherty County, he is always eager to return.

Growing up, he appreciated the down home lifestyle of South Georgia. As a boy, his days were accented by options to drop a trophy buck before sunrise and knock down a few quail on a cool, crisp morning. However, there was wanderlust in his soul. He entered Georgia not knowing what he wanted for a career. If you had asked him as a freshman, when he came under the influence of his Shakespeare professor Dr. Chuck Lower, what would the ultimate career be, he would have said: "I'd like to work in media, travel the world and not have any two days the same."

While not a clairvoyant, he has landed squarely in the middle of his freshman dreams. His life is traveling the world covering world events and producing award winning shows for CNN. For sure, his life is devoid of humdrum and boredom. Every day is different. He rose somewhat meteorically from intern to executive producer in less than five years. One day he is an intern in Atlanta with CNN, and as quickly as a seasoned hunter can bring down a Bob White quail on a covey rise, he lands in Afghanistan, covering a war with the accomplished Anderson Cooper.

Wars, tsunamis and Katrina beckon the versatile Cooper, which also beckons his equally versatile producer. "To report with a degree of authority, you need to experience the live action," Moore says. Moore knows what it is like for his team to stand in the middle of a hurricane and report on it. If you see Anderson Cooper in a war zone and a bomb explodes nearby, you can underscore "nearby." Their team is always where the action is.

That is why you find them in the Amazon connecting the dots of deforestation and climate change for the documentary "Planet in Peril." Or in Bangkok trying to catch on camera those who deal in the illegal trade of the body parts of endangered wildlife species.

"Charlie," says Cooper, "is the best producer I've ever traveled with. He is incredibly hard working. Even in the midst of very stressful situations, he is able to keep things in perspective and able to laugh at the absurdity of situations we sometimes find ourselves in. If I was in a jam anywhere in the world, there is no one I'd rather be with than Charlie Moore. I trust him completely. His talent, his judgment and his sense of fairness and decency are remarkable."

Growing up, like most kids, Charlie played war games, but in his recent past, the wars we are exposed to on the nightly news are part of his existence. He, Anderson and a cameraman are often there, reporting daily on what it is like for the soldiers who are in harm's way. Then there are the innocent victims of war. They let us know what the victims are saying and thinking.

The "Anderson Cooper 360" team consists of one person other than Anderson and Charlie -- a cameraman. There is no entourage. Their mantra is hard work without the slightest interest in the politics of any assignment. "Anderson," Charlie says, "is a compelling guy, a great reporter and has a passion to see the story and report on the facts. It is a wonderful experience to be on his team. My job is one in which I get excited thinking about the day when I come in each day."

Charlie lives in New Rochelle, N.Y., with his wife Lucy, a one-time art major at Georgia, and his three kids: Jane, Lewis and Carling. He commutes to his office at the Time-Warner Center by train, but is always prepared to grab the next flight out of New York to where trouble is brewing and headlines are emanating.

To effectively do his job, a cool head is required; also an ability to work under pressure without becoming frustrated. A man in his line of work must be cautious when he hears footsteps without becoming alarmed. Who better for the job that a laid back small town alumnus who deflects complacency because he wanted a career that would never be nine to five.

Loran Smith is affiliated with the University of Georgia and can be reached via e-mail at loransmithathens@bellsouth.net.