McCormick made his final Instagram post the day he died to show his progress on his Sinhalese writing. On his YouTube page, McCormick would post videos of himself speaking to strangers in their native languages.
In one of his viral videos from 2019, McCormick is seen striking up conversations in a supermarket with strangers using their native languages, including Japanese, Mandarin, and Arabic.
His online handle “Laoshu” translates to “mouse” in Chinese. He had more than 33,000 followers on Instagram.
There was an outpouring of sympathy on Twitter upon the news of his death.
“If you are not in the language community you may not have known Laoshu but for those who knew him he was an inspiration. He spoke so many languages. This is a black American from Ohio who made videos that made Russians, Somalis, Chinese people etc. smile. R.I.P. Moses,” one person posted.
Another spoke of his ability to inspire: “@laoshu505000 RIP. You were such an inspiration and will continue to be so. The few interactions I had with you online I will always remember. My condolences to the entire McCormick family. This is very sad news. Every time I level up, I’ll always remember you Moses. #Laoshu.”
McCormick began studying languages around 20 years ago, Yahoo reported. “I noticed that most language books and classes did not teach students how to prepare for real-world conversations,” his YouTube bio states. “In an attempt to solve this issue, I developed my own method, The FLR Method. The videos on my channel show the progress that I have made with different languages of the years by using FLR.”
His family has set up a GoFundMe to have McCormick’s remains transported from Phoenix to his hometown of Akron, Ohio. The fund has raised $57,366 as of March 12.
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“Moses Monweal McCormick was a beautiful brother, son, father, and friend,” McCormick’s sister, Susan Nushawn McCormick, wrote on the GoFundMe page. “He touched the lives of so many all over the world. His dedication and passion for not only learning but, teaching a plethora of Languages.”