patrick f. taylor COLLECTION
University of New Orleans
for Requesting Special Collections Materials
Size: 1 folder
locations: New Orleans, La.
Inclusive dates: late
Summary: An artificial collection of miscellany by or
about Patrick F. Taylor.
Access: No restrictions
rights are retained by the Earl K. Long Library, University of New Orleans.
F. Taylor Collection, Earl K. Long Library, University of New Orleans
Patrick F. Taylor was born in Beaumont, Texas,
on June 12, 1937,
the son of Sibyl Partin Taylor Gayman and Alex Taylor. He left home at age sixteen but completed
school with the help of a full scholarship from the Kinkaid School
in Houston. After high school he attended Louisiana State University
at Baton Rouge,
which did not charge tuition. During his
sophomore year at LSU, Taylor
joined the Marine Corps PLC officer-training program, but a heart condition
prevented him from completing his senior course and he was honorably discharged
from the Corps on October
After graduating from LSU with a
degree in petroleum engineering, Taylor
worked for Texas
oilman John Mecom, Sr. until 1966. Later
he formed his own consulting and production company, before starting Circle
Bar Drilling Company with Mecom in 1974.
That very successful drilling contracting company was sold in 1979, at
which time Taylor
founded Taylor Energy Company in New
Energy Company is one of the larger independent oil companies in the Gulf of Mexico to explore for and produce oil and natural
gas in Federal offshore waters in the Gulf of Mexico. At the time of his death, he was president,
CEO, and sole owner of the company.
In March 1988, Taylor was invited to speak to 183
underachieving and troubled inner-city seventh- and eighth-grade students who
planned to drop out of school. Remembering
the significance of his own college opportunity, Taylor decided that he would not give a
typical "role model" speech.
Instead, he promised the kids that he would see to it that they went to
college. They would be required to stay
in school, stay out of trouble, and complete a college preparatory high school
curriculum with a "B" average.
The response from the students and their parents was overwhelming. Many went on to college, and five of those
students were recognized in Who's Who
among American High School Students.
During the course of these efforts, Taylor realized for the
first time that an entire generation of America's low-income youth was
growing up thinking that college was "for other folks." Taylor
initiated research in Louisiana
to determine the reason for this belief.
That study confirmed that fully three-quarters of Louisiana families could not afford college
for their children—a circumstance not limited to Louisiana.
Convinced that all children are
entitled to the opportunity to achieve success, Taylor conceived and prepared legislation for
address this issue. The first bill
introduced provided for state-paid college tuition for academically qualified
students from families of less than $25,000 annual income (income cap has since
been removed). Applicants had to have
completed an advanced high school core curriculum, achieved at 2.5 grade point
average, and a minimum score of 18 on the American College Test (raised to 20,
effective Fall 1999). After a ferocious
battle in the Louisiana Legislature, this bill became Act 789 and the first
"Taylor Plan" was signed into law on July 10, 1989.
a college education for all children was now based on their ability to learn
rather than their ability to pay.
In the meantime, the national media
coverage of Taylor's
unique offer to the original 183 "Taylor's
Kids" had attracted the attention of Mike Wallace, longtime CBS
newsman. Wallace had CBS cover the
legislative battle during the summer of 1989, and he personally interviewed the
kids and their parents. In September of
that year, 60 Minutes ran a feature
Kids, the Taylor Plan, and Patrick Taylor.
The national attention caused by the 60
Minutes feature led to a flood of invitations for Taylor to carry his message around the
nation. He traveled nearly a million
miles and gave thousands of speeches and interviews in support of Taylor Plan
What began in Louisiana as the first state-paid,
merit-based tuition program spread to include nineteen states with Taylor Plan
programs. Millions of American children
have had the opportunity to go to college based on their ability to learn and
not their ability to pay.
In 1986 Taylor founded the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation,
a philanthropic organization benefiting education, law enforcement, military,
community charitable organizations, and other humanitarian efforts. Taylor
was recognized as the first and only billionaire from Louisiana by Forbes 400 The Richest People
Taylor received awards and honors
from many organizations, including the United States Marine Corps, Marine
Forces Reserve, Marine Corps League, Department of the Navy, Veterans of
Foreign Wars, U.S. Olympic Committee, Horatio Alger Association of
Distinguished Americans, National Brotherhood of Christians and Jews, NAACP,
Urban League, Society of Petroleum Engineers, Caring Institute, Kiwanis
International, Rotary International, Volunteers of American, Freedoms
Foundation of Valley Forge, and the National Football League. Pope John Paul II bestowed upon him the Medal
of Benemerente, the highest award given by the Vatican to a non-Catholic. Numerous local, state and Federal
law-enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the
U.S. Customs Service, and the U.S. Secret Service, have cited Taylor's efforts. In addition to his numerous awards and
received several honorary doctorates from colleges and universities. He served on various boards of national
charitable foundations, as well as the National Petroleum Council.
At the time of his death on November 5, 2004, of bacterial endocarditis, Patrick F. Taylor was 67 years
of age. He was survived by his wife of 39 years, Phyllis Miller
Taylor. He was buried at the Patrick F. Taylor Cemetery at Circle Bar Ranch in Foxworth, Mississippi.
notice, New Orleans
Times-Picayune, November 9, 2004, p. B-6.
The collection has not been processed.
Taylor, Patrick F.