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Less is known about Alphonso Moran than perhaps any other artist in the group. He was born in Vero Beach and he grew up with two bothers and a sister. He went to Gifford High School, although it isn’t clear if he graduated. He knew Alfred Hair and sometimes hung out with him. However, Alfred’s wife Doretha says he probably learned to paint from Harold Newton.

Little is known about Alfonso Moran’s life. Like several other Highwaymen, he started his career as a painter by making frames.. Like several other Highwaymen, he started his career as a painter by making frames.He painted landscapes and was legendary as a professional gambler. He was well known in Gifford, Florida, for his expertise in playing pool and billiards. He also played poker, but it was his skill at shooting pool that gave him his foremost identity. This expertise seemed to distinguish him more than his painting. Some say he stopped painting to concentrate on his gambling career. He was the oldest of the Highwaymen.

Willie Reagan described Alfonso as a handsome man, reaching the height of 6’3” or more, who dressed in a snappy white suit. He had a kind face with dimples and the skill to charm anyone he met. He traveled up and down the East Coast playing pool.  Those who knew him say he would not have worked the fields, as it simply wasn’t in his character to do that. He had other jobs during his lifetime. He trained as a barber at Ronnie’s Barber Shop in Gifford, and he sometimes painted houses.

According to Al Black, Alfonso didn’t paint that many paintings because he was so good at making money from shooting pool. Consequently his paintings are harder to find than most of the other Highwaymen. The few confirmed images we have of his work show bold colors and compositions that fill the canvas. His skies are active and his paint is heavily applied. He played with various renditions of light and sometimes added people in his settings. Alfonso Moran had talent, but based on the numbers of paintings that have turned up in the last few decades, he was far more drawn to a life of playing pool than painting.


Biographies are adapted from those on, one of the earliest informative websites on the Florida Highwaymen. Since the site is no longer active, we have provided them here.

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