Charles Moore began his career as a journalist and writer in Detroit. From 1889 to 1902, he served as secretary to U.S. Senator James McMillan and played a significant role with the McMillan Commission and its report on the development of Washington in 1901. Moore was a founding member of the Commission of Fine Arts in 1910 and would remain a member for thirty years, twenty-two of them as chairman. During this time, Moore also served as director of the Detroit Museum of Art (1914–17) and as a consultant to and later chief of the Manuscripts Division at the Library of Congress (1917–27). He was also a prolific writer, writing numerous essays, articles, and histories, many related to city planning and architecture, as well as biographies of Daniel Burnham, Charles McKim, and George Washington. He was a co-founder of the American Academy in Rome and a member of the National Conference on City Planning, the Detroit City Plan and Improvement Commission, and the American Institute of Arts and Letters as well as the New York Architectural League and the Michigan Historical Commission. He received an undergraduate degree from Harvard University in 1878 and a doctorate from George Washington University in 1900. Moore received many awards and honors during his long career, including honorary membership in the American Institute of Architects, and was named a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor in 1924.