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William Taylor

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Information about William Taylor

Profile image of William Taylor

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
Federal Government Administrator
Public Relations Manager

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Air Force Blue
Favorite Food:
Gumbo
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Asia
Favorite Quote:
Do ye next thing.

Birthplace

Born:
12/24/1930
Birth Location:
St. Paul, Minnesota

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
Federal Government Administrator
Public Relations Manager

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Air Force Blue
Favorite Food:
Gumbo
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Asia
Favorite Quote:
Do ye next thing.

Birthplace

Born:
12/24/1930
Birth Location:
St. Paul
See how William Taylor is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Colonel William M. Taylor helped the U.S. military manage media scrutiny in times of crisis for twenty-seven years. Born on December 24, 1930, in St. Paul, Minnesota, Taylor's media savvy served him and his country well as the military officer responsible for public affairs support to the secretary of defense.

Taylor grew up in Muncie, Indiana, and earned a journalism degree from Indiana University in 1952. He entered the U.S. Air Force in 1953 and soon after began working in public information posts for the Air Force. During the Vietnam War, Taylor was a public information officer stationed in Saigon, Vietnam, and Bangkok, Thailand. When he returned to the United States, Taylor worked at the Pentagon, and in July 1977 became the director of defense information. During his tenure, Taylor helped manage publicity for the military on a number of sensitive issues, from missing nuclear bombs to returned prisoners of war to the failed Iranian hostage rescue.

After retiring in 1980, Taylor became a public affairs adviser to the American Petroleum Institute. He served as a contact person for media on the oil industry and helped manage public awareness for petroleum issues. For eight years, Taylor organized and managed the oil industry's annual crisis management and communications seminar. This expertise became invaluable in 1989, when Taylor went to Alaska to provide on-site assistance to Exxon in the aftermath of the Valdez oil spill. Since 1996, Taylor has run Action Image, a public relations consultancy and sports photography enterprise. He has also served as a public affairs emergency response reservist for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Taylor and his wife, Phyllis Moxley, have three children and three grandchildren. They live in Silver Spring, Maryland.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William Taylor interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William Taylor's favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William Taylor describes his father's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William Taylor describes his maternal grandfather and family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William Taylor remembers his parents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William Taylor discusses changes of residence and race awareness during his childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William Taylor recalls his first awareness of racial differences
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William Taylor shares memories of Minnesota, his childhood home
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William Taylor remembers the Hallie Q. Brown Community Center, St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William Taylor recalls encounters with black celebrities in his youth
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William Taylor discusses his childhood interests
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William Taylor recalls his school days
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William Taylor describes life in Muncie, Indiana in the 1940s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William Taylor recounts his entry into a new tough school in Muncie, Indiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William Taylor discusses his early interest in the Third Reich
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William Taylor discusses his interest in written communication
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William Taylor discusses his high school activities
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William Taylor remembers influential school figures
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William Taylor discusses his college choices
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William Taylor discusses his experiences as a journalism student at Indiana University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William Taylor recounts an event in his college track career
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - William Taylor recalls the start of his professional life
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William Taylor discusses his search for a journalism job
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William Taylor recounts his first overseas tours with the U.S. Air Force
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William Taylor describes his experiences in the U.S. Air Force dealing with the press
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William Taylor discusses public relations changes resulting from today's 'instant news'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William Taylor discusses his ventures in the public relations field
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William Taylor discusses African Americans in the U.S. Air Force's public relations department
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William Taylor shares his professional philosophy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - William Taylor recalls his military travels in Southeast Asia
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - William Taylor recalls his PR involvement during catastrophic events in recent history
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - William Taylor preserves the stories of African Americans
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - William Taylor repeats a story from his friend Ernie Fears
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - William Taylor reflects on the state of the black community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - William Taylor considers his legacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Photo - William Taylor, age ten, with two unidentified boys before a church outing, Omaha, Nebraska, 1940
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Photo - William Taylor and other military personnel at the 58th parallel separating North Korea and South Korea
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Photo - William Taylor in Omaha, Nebraska, early 1940s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Photo - William Taylor at a Pearl Harbor memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Photo - William Taylor on the set of an Air Force training film, ca. 1966
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Photo - William Taylor reading with his grandson, ca. 2000
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Photo - William Taylor, age five, at a birthday celebration, ca. 1935
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Photo - William Taylor's mother, 1920s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Photo - William Taylor at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, ca. 1948
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Photo - William Taylor with a group of Japanese industrialists, early 1970s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Photo - William Taylor with other Muncie Central Bearcats players, Indiana, 1948
  • Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Photo - Co-captains of the Indiana University track team, 1952
  • Tape: 6 Story: 13 - Photo - William Taylor with U.S. Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird at a government ceremony in his honor, early 1970s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 14 - Photo - William Taylor in his official military photograph, ca. 1970
  • Tape: 6 Story: 15 - Photo - William Taylor with family members upon his retirement from the U.S. Air Force, 1980
  • Tape: 6 Story: 16 - Photo - William Taylor with future wife at a Indiana University Christmas formal, Bloomington, Indiana, 1952
  • Tape: 6 Story: 17 - Photo - William Taylor makes a one-handed shot, 1947
  • Tape: 6 Story: 18 - Photo - William Taylor at a daily meeting with the Director of Defense Information, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., late 1970s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 19 - Photo - Col. William Taylor with Defense Department personnel, Southeast Asia, 1971
  • Tape: 6 Story: 20 - Photo - William Taylor informs U.S. Army Chief of Staff William Westmoreland of military information, ca. 1965
  • Tape: 6 Story: 21 - Photo - William Taylor's ancestors
  • Tape: 6 Story: 22 - Photo - William Taylor golfing, n.d.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 23 - Photo - William Taylor's daughters and their husbands, n.d.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 24 - Photo - William Taylor and Ray Connelly, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, ca. 1989
  • Tape: 6 Story: 25 - Photo - William Taylor's grandmother and two unidentified women, ca. 1920s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 26 - Photo - William Taylor's grandfather, ca. 1930s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 27 - Photo - William Taylor's grandfather while working on the Great Northern Railroad, n.d.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 28 - Photo - William Taylor with his cousin, aunt and unidentified woman, n.d.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 29 - Photo - William Taylor and Myrtle Carden, ca. early 1930s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 30 - Photo - William Taylor and his mother, St. Paul, Minnesota, ca. 1930s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 31 - Photo - William Taylor and Myrtle Carden, St. Paul, Minnesota, ca. early 1930s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 32 - Photo - William Taylor featured in a 'Muncie Star' newspaper article, May 31, 1980