Peter Moore, designer of the Air Jordan 1 and Nike's iconic Jumpman logo, dies

Peter Moore, designer of the Air Jordan 1 and Nike's iconic Jumpman logo, dies
Included in Rares' collection are the 1985 Air Jordan 1 Chicagos.Courtesy of Rares
  • Peter Moore designed the Air Jordan 1 and the Jordan brand's iconic Jumpman logo.
  • He died Friday, according to industry sources and confirmed by Nike and Adidas.

Peter Moore, who designed the Air Jordan 1 and played an instrumental role in the birth of the modern sneaker business, has died, according to Insider sources and statements from Nike's Jordan brand and Adidas.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Peter Moore, an iconic designer, whose legacy will forever be connected to Jordan Brand, and the sneaker culture he helped to create," said Howard "H" White, Jordan brand vice president and longtime company veteran, in a statement. "We extend our deepest sympathies to the Moore family during this time."

Moore, who helped drive the creation of the Jordan line, is most known for the Air Jordan 1, which debuted in 1985 and remains a cornerstone of sneaker culture, with many selling for premiums on the secondary market.

"We lost an icon," D'Wayne Edwards, founder of Pensole Lewis College and a former design director of Nike's Jordan brand, told Insider.

There's even a documentary about the shoe, "Unbanned: The Legend of AJ1."


"It's as relevant to the culture today as it was then," Ron Dumas, who worked with Moore at Nike, told Insider in reference to the Air Jordan 1. "It's an amazing story. At the time that shoe came out it was revolutionary. The attitude of Nike was about that. That's how you disrupt markets and stand out. I'm extremely proud to be a part of that."'

Moore played a pivotal role in the creation of the Jordan line. In addition to the Air Jordan 1, he also designed the Jordan brand's iconic Jumpman logo and its original Wings logo.

"Without him there is no Jordan brand," Edwards said.

The Jordan line, while a continued success, debuted at a critical time for Nike, helping it break a rare two-year slump that started in 1984.

"His name may not be as recognizable as others in Nike history, but his impact cannot be overstated," Nike historian emeritus Scott Reames wrote on LinkedIn. "If there was a list of the 50 most influential employees in Nike's first 50 years, Peter would be on it."


Dumas credited Moore with setting the foundation for the company's early design efforts, which included the ubiquitous Nike advertising posters that graced thousands of kids' bedrooms in the 1980s, many of them designed by Moore.

Reames added that the posters were so popular that some professional athletes negotiated for posters in their Nike endorsement deals.

Moore also is known for his time at Adidas. He and former Nike executive Rob Strasser launched what became Adidas America in Portland in the early 1990s.

When Strasser died unexpectedly in 1993, the Germany-based brand named Moore head of its North American operations. He is credited with breathing life back into the brand, redesigning the Adidas logo, launching the Adidas Equipment line, and having a lasting impact on the brand's design.

"The Adidas family is saddened by the passing of our dear friend Peter Moore," the company said in a statement. "Our hearts are with Peter's family, friends, and everyone who knew him. Peter was a true legend and icon in our industry, and it is impossible to overstate the impact he has had on Adidas. He will be greatly missed and his legacy will live on forever."


Moore retired in 1998, but continued to make artwork, even exhibiting his work in Portland in 2013.

Jordan's relationship with Nike is considered the gold standard for athlete endorsement deals.

The origins of Nike's relationship with Michael Jordan remain somewhat contested, but Moore is consistently given credit for his role in launching the line.

Nike co-founder Phil Knight told USA Today in 2015 that Moore and Strasser were the "MVPs" of the partnership.

Last week, the Hollywood Reporter reported that Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are developing a movie about Nike's efforts to sign Jordan, focusing on the role played by former Nike executive Sonny Vaccaro.


Vaccaro described Moore as a "singular" figure in industry history.

"There's nobody like Peter in the business today," Vaccaro told Insider. "Today does not allow individuals to do what Peter Moore did. Peter Moore was, and is, in my mind one of the most honorable human beings I've ever been around. He was above reproach and he gave me guidance to make me a better person."

Moore was known for his work ethic, straightforward nature, and humility.

"He let his work stand for itself," Dumas said. "In today's world of building your own brand he just let the work stand and let other people make commentary on it. To me that just seems real, honest, and natural. I admire that."