Moses Harry Horwitz (June 19, 1897 – May 4, 1975), known professionally as Moe Howard, was an American actor and comedian best known as the leader of The Three Stooges, the farce comedy team who starred in motion pictures and television for four decades. His distinctive hairstyle came about when he was a boy and cut off his curls with a pair of scissors, producing a ragged shape approximating a helmet or bowl.
Moses Horwitz was born in Brooklyn, New York, neighborhood of Brownsville, to Solomon Horwitz and Jennie Gorovitz. He was the fourth of the five Horwitz brothers and of Levite and Lithuanian Jewish ancestry. In his younger years, he got the nickname Moe and later adopted the name Harry. Although his parents were not involved in show business, Moe, his older brother Samuel and younger brother Jerome all eventually became world-famous as members of the Three Stooges.
In school, Moe initially did quite well, aided by a prodigious memory. In later years, this helped him in his acting career, making memorizing his lines quick and easy. Moe loved reading, as his older brother Jack commented: "I had many Horatio Alger books and it was Moe's greatest pleasure to read them. They started his imaginative mind working and gave him ideas by the dozen. I think they were instrumental in putting thoughts into his head to become a person of good character and to become successful."