Taylor Branch, a leading historian of the civil rights era, says Moses' Northern roots, quiet demeanor and philosophical training made him different from many of the movement's decidedly Southern and evangelical leaders.
"He spoke quietly, he didn't give big sermons like Martin Luther King," Branch says. "He didn't seek out dramatic confrontations like the Freedom Riders and the sit-ins, but he did inspire a broad range of grassroots leadership."
Branch says Moses was self-effacing, observant and sensitive. He says Moses went south to serve Mississippi's sharecroppers and ended up a leader by helping to push voter registration to the center of civil rights work.
"To this day he is a startling paradox," Branch says. "I think his influence is almost on par with Martin Luther King, and yet he's almost totally unknown."
Benjamin Franklin told us that we have a republic if we can keep it. If we can get Bob Moses more famous, and if others are inspired to follow his example, we might be able to keep our republic after all.