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Oscar winner Graham Moore’s White House, U. of Chicago connections

WASHINGTON — When Graham Moore’s name was announced Sunday night as the winner of the Oscar for writing the “Imitation Game,” the proud woman sitting next to him — beaming — was Susan Sher, a former chief of staff for first lady Michelle Obama, now driving the University of Chicago bid for the Obama library, museum and academic center.

Sun-Times entertainment editor Darel Jevens writes about Moore’s poignant speech and his advice to “stay weird” as  the U. of C. Lab School grad talked about a suicide attempt when he was 16.

“I felt weird and I felt different and I felt like I didn’t belong,” Moore said. “And now I’m standing here, so I would like this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she’s weird or she’s different or she doesn’t fit in anywhere. Yes, you do. I promise you do. Stay weird. Stay different.”

Sher told me in an email, “I’m thrilled about Graham’s Oscar win and could not be more proud of him.” When I asked Sher about Moore’s comments, she emailed me, “It was a courageous thing for him to share. It makes me all the more proud.”

Moore tweeted before the Oscar telecast, “Have received 3 texts from my mom so far today. All of them have been about food. #JewishMothers.”

In 2010, Sher was still Michelle Obama’s chief of staff when Moore’s book, “The Sherlockian” was published. Moore was feted at two parties — including one at the residence of Vice President Joe Biden and wife Jill. The other party was at the home of Democratic activist Hillary Rosen. The events, as I wrote then, drew a “who’s who” guest list.

White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett was one of the co-hosts of the Rosen party. As I wrote then, she called herself Moore’s “other mother,” relating, “I met Graham 21 years ago when Susan and I had offices next to each other working in Mayor Daley’s corporation counsel’s office.”

Read all about Moore’s 2010 Washington whirl HERE.