The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon

Search Results

Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Shawn A. Taylor

Franchise owner and operator Shawn A. Taylor was born on December 21, 1959 in Chicago, Illinois to Evangeline Katherine Irving. He graduated from Chicago Vocational School in 1978 and went on to receive his B.S. degree in accounting, with distinction, from Purdue University in 1982.

From 1982 to 1987, Taylor worked as a senior staff auditor at Arthur Andersen & Co., LLP in Dallas, Texas. He left Arthur Andersen & Co. in 1987 and went to work for American Express as a personal investment advisor until 1991 when he returned to Arthur Andersen & Co. as the first African American manager. In 1996, he founded Family EATS L.P. as a general partner, president, and CEO of the Taco Bell Franchise in Houston, Texas. Taylor owned, developed, and operated thirty-three Taco Bell locations in Houston, which he successfully sold in 2007. He then became the president and operating partner of Zaxby’s Houston, LLC in 2013 and sold his franchise operations in 2019. In 2011, Taylor joined the Houston Baseball Partners, LLC as a limited partner/owner and board member of the Houston Astros. He later sold his interest in the Astros in 2017, but remained as an advisor.

Taylor served on many boards, including the Houston Astros Foundation, Cadence Bank, the accounting advisory council of the University of Texas’ McCombs School of Business, the Houston Zoo, the YMCA of Greater Houston, and the Boys and Girls Club of Houston. He was president of the Houston Community College Foundation and a trustee of the Taco Bell/Teen Supreme Foundation. He was also an advisor for Purdue University’s Krannert Graduate School of Management, for BBVA Compass Bank in Houston, Texas, and for the finance committee of the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System.

Taylor has received numerous awards throughout his career. Including serving as the commencement speaker for the 226th Purdue University graduation and the 2019 Houston Community College graduation. He was awarded the Krannert Business Leadership Award from Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management and the Think Outside the Bun Award by Taco Bell Corporation for his community service following the Gulf Coast hurricanes. He was also named one of the Top 30 Influential Leaders by AACSB International’s Global Accrediting Body for Business Schools and Entrepreneur of the Year by Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management.

Taylor has two children, Austin and Erin.

Shawn A. Taylor was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 17, 2020.

Accession Number




Interview Date


Last Name


Maker Category
Marital Status


Middle Name



George Washington Carver Primary School

Chicago Vocational Career Academy

Purdue University

First Name


Birth City, State, Country




Favorite Season




Favorite Vacation Destination

Telluride, Colorado

Favorite Quote

Excuses Are For Losers

Speakers Bureau Region State


Birth Date


Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City


Favorite Food

White Castle Hamburgers

Short Description

Franchise owner and operator Shawn A. Taylor (1959- ) was a franchise owner of thirty-three Taco Bells for eleven years.


Arthur Andersen & Co.

SDS Financial Services

Family Eats LP

Zaxby's Houston LLC

Favorite Color