By all accounts, Eric Gore was a quiet man.

“He was private,” said older brother Lamont.

“He didn’t do a lot of talking,” said colleague Lisa Forrest.

Instead, Mr. Gore made noise with his actions. He was a Philadelphia firefighter, published writer, former Philly policeman, former court stenographer, world traveler, father and husband, and philanthropist.

And even though he didn’t say much, he could say it in English, Spanish, and Mandarin.

“He was the kind of guy who would give money to kids he met even when he couldn’t spare it,” said Lamont Gore, also a Philly firefighter with Ladder 15 in Frankford. “I had to tell him to stop it and spend that money at home.”

Mr. Gore, 48, died Tuesday, June 2, at Temple University Hospital due to COVID-19.

Like his brother and late father, Edward, Mr. Gore found a home away from home with the Fire Department. He grew up in Southwest Philly, near 58th and Baltimore, and graduated from Bartram High School in 1990. He went on to work for three years as a Philadelphia police officer, then joined the Fire Department in 1996 and worked across the city for more than 23 years, spending 12 years at Engine 61 in Olney.

In 2002, Mr. Gore and others in his unit were cited for helping rescue two children and an adult from a burning home. He had been assigned to Engine 37 in Chestnut Hill for the last two years.

“It’s in our blood,” Lamont Gore said of the family’s civic service. His wife, Deborah, is a police detective, and many relatives have worked for either the Police or Fire Departments.

Mr. Gore was so reserved that his brother, Lamont, did not know that Mr. Gore had visited China until he had already returned.
Courtesy of the Gore family
Mr. Gore was so reserved that his brother, Lamont, did not know that Mr. Gore had visited China until he had already returned.

Despite his laid-back nature, Mr. Gore impressed those around him with a no-nonsense approach to work and his wide array of interests. Forrest, a captain in the Fire Department, said Mr. Gore "was an action person. He never started any trouble. But he was not one to back down, either.”

Lamont Gore said Eric was the perfect little brother when they were growing up. “Little brothers are supposed to take whatever big brothers do and smile about it," he joked. “And Eric did that.”

Mr. Gore was so reserved that Lamont did not know that his brother had visited China until he had already returned. His 2016 novel, Vengeance Obtained, was about Marcel Dekrey, a 900-year-old vampire.

“He found time to do a lot of stuff,” Lamont Gore said.

In addition to his brother, Mr. Gore is survived by his mother, Shirley; stepfather Charlie; wife Zenaida; daughter Logan; former wife, Erica; a brother; and five stepsons.

He is to be posthumously promoted to lieutenant, and services are scheduled for Thursday and Friday, June 11 and 12.

— Gary Miles,