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Willie Taylor

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Information about Willie Taylor

Profile image of Willie Taylor

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Entrepreneur

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Fish, Pork, Soup
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Alaska
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
9/2/1932
Birth Location:
Centerville, Mississippi

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Entrepreneur

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Fish, Pork, Soup
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Alaska
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
9/2/1932
Birth Location:
Centerville
See how Willie Taylor is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Vice President of Operations, Willie J. Taylor was born September 2, 1932 in Centerville, Mississippi. His parents were Tena and Lois Taylor and he is the youngest of three children. In 1946, Taylor graduated from Forestville Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois and in 1950; he graduated from Dunbar Vocational High School in Chicago, Illinois. At the age of twenty, Taylor worked as a clerk for the United States Postal Office before joining the United States Army Signal Corp.

Post World War II, there was technology growth and Cold War inspired emphasis on cutting edge research and development, Taylor took a job as a research assistant for the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Research Institute. In 1966, Taylor joined Sonicraft Inc. as Vice President of Operations. In 1982, Sonicraft Inc. signed a manufacturing contract with the U.S. Air force that resulted in a two hundred and sixty-eight million dollar deal for the company. The contract was expected to last until 1989; making it the largest single series of contracts the government has ever awarded a minority owned business. Taylor was responsible for overseeing production and installation of equipment to automate radio communications from control tower to plane, including self-diagnostic electronic systems that are supposed to lower maintenance costs in FAA facilities. He also, produced a remote control mechanism for airport lighting systems; power sources so that they can be regulated from control towers and develop equipment for a new visual plane approach system.

Taylor has served as Trustee for Northeastern Illinois University and the Board of Governors Universities. In 1996, Taylor retired after serving thirty-years as the Vice President of Operations at Sonicraft Inc. He currently resides in Bryan, Texas with his wife Ollie Taylor. They have three children together, Theresa Doughty, Louis Taylor, Jr. and Valerie Taylor.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Willie Taylor's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Willie Taylor lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Willie Taylor describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Willie Taylor talks about his maternal great-grandfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Willie Taylor remembers his maternal grandfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Willie Taylor talks about race relations in the South
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Willie Taylor describes his mother's profession as a teacher
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Willie Taylor describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Willie Taylor talks about his father's education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Willie Taylor recalls his parents' move to Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Willie Taylor describes his father's quartet singing group
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Willie Taylor talks about his father's roles on 'I Love a Mystery'
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Willie Taylor describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Willie Taylor remembers his neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Willie Taylor recalls his early musical talent
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Willie Taylor remembers Forrestville Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Willie Taylor remembers the rationing during World War II
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Willie Taylor describes his experiences at Dunbar Vocational High School in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Willie Taylor remembers his Boy Scout troop
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Willie Taylor talks about his early interest in engineering
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Willie Taylor recalls working as a tester at Spiegel, Inc.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Willie Taylor describes his early employment
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Willie Taylor talks about his experiences in the U.S. Army Signal Corps
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Willie Taylor remembers Wilson Junior College in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Willie Taylor recalls meeting and marrying his wife
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Willie Taylor remembers the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Willie Taylor describes the founding of Sonicraft, Inc.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Willie Taylor recalls the early contracts at Sonicraft Inc.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Willie Taylor talks about Sonicraft Inc.'s contract with the U.S. Navy
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Willie Taylor describes the communications systems developed by Sonicraft Inc.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Willie Taylor recalls the locations of the Sonicraft, Inc. facilities
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Willie Taylor describes the production system at Sonicraft, Inc.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Willie Taylor reflects upon his achievements and challenges at Sonicraft, Inc.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Willie Taylor describes his role as the vice president of Sonicraft, Inc.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Willie Taylor remembers the downfall of Sonicraft, Inc.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Willie Taylor recalls his organizational memberships at Sonicraft, Inc.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Willie Taylor remembers working with Chicago Mayor Harold Washington
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Willie Taylor talks about the importance of business networks
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Willie Taylor talks about the contemporary telecommunications industry
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Willie Taylor talks about his work with the eta Creative Arts Foundation
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Willie Taylor describes the eta Creative Arts Foundation
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Willie Taylor talks about the history of Brazos Valley, Texas
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Willie Taylor describes the Brazo Valley African American Museum in Bryan, Texas
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Willie Taylor describes his concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Willie Taylor reflects upon his life and legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Willie Taylor talks about his family
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Willie Taylor talks about his civic life in Chicago, Illinois and Bryan, Texas
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Willie Taylor describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Willie Taylor narrates his photographs