In 1969, John launched John Moran Auctioneers, Inc. located on South Lake Street in Pasadena, CA. During an interview with the Pasadena Star News in 1988 he humbly attributed his success to “a hobby that got out of control.” Over the years, John’s sales generated hundreds of millions in gross revenue for his consignors, expanding to encompass a wide range of valuable personal and estate property, including paintings, jewelry, silver, fine furnishings, art objects, carpets, and musical instruments.
John’s specialty was in California and Western oil paintings and watercolors. In 2001, he became the first auctioneer to sell a painting by a California artist for more than a million dollars when he auctioned Guy Rose’s “Early Morning, Summertime” for $1,210,000. John was also at the block in 2012 when Moran’s sold a Navajo first phase chief’s wearing blanket for $1,800,000: the highest price ever paid at auction for a North American textile.
John was known for his honesty, integrity, and “people first” philosophy, and left behind a legacy of love and compassion. He chose to leverage his success as a businessman to mentor employees and friends, encourage others to pursue their dreams, and give back to his community. Volunteering and charitable giving were also of great personal importance to John, and he was particularly drawn to organizations benefiting local women, children, arts programs and education.