Oberlin College Archives

Malcolm D. Taylor (1894-1980)

Papers, 1910-1981 (1914-1920)


BIOGRAPHY

Malcolm Dean Taylor was born in Delaware, Ohio, on May 2, 1894, to Orville Edmund Taylor and Eva Amelia (Strong) Taylor. Other siblings included sisters: Mildred Taylor McGowan and Amy Taylor Hannum Guthrie. After nearly finishing high school in Delaware, Ohio, Taylor's family moved to Gustavus, Ohio, where he complete his secondary education. In order to raise money for his college tuition, Taylor spent three years teaching junior high school in Kinsman, Ohio. In 1916, Taylor matriculated to Oberlin College at 22 years old.

In 1917, Malcolm Taylor enlisted into the Army Medical Department. Upon being called into active service on March 14, 1918, he left Oberlin College and reported to the Base Hospital Unit #25 training at Camp Sherman, Chillicothe, Ohio. His service took him to Allery, Saome et Lois, France for seven months and then in February 1919 to Berlin, Germany, with an American Red Cross Commission. Discharged from service in July 1919, he returned to Oberlin to finish his A.B. degree in English and graduated in 1921. At Oberlin, Taylor was active in the Republican Party, organizing the Harding-for-President Campaign in 1920.

From Oberlin College, Taylor attended Harvard University Business School, receiving his M.B.A. in 1923. As a graduate student at Harvard, Taylor was a member of the Editorial Board of the Harvard Business Review. He also completed the 1921 summer term at Ohio State University studying commerce and education and the 1928 and 1929 summer terms at University of Chicago studying education. During the summer of 1922, Taylor worked as a researcher in the Scruggs-Vandervoort-Barney Department Store in St. Louis, Missouri. After receiving his M.B.A., Taylor spent one year as a researcher at the Harvard University Bureau of Business Research.

In 1924, Taylor was employed as an Assistant Professor of Sales Relations in the School of Commerce of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (UNC). He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1925, and named a full Professor in 1929. During his twenty-two year tenure at UNC, Taylor took some extended leaves and held a number of outside positions in the private sector. Included is service as a Special Market Investigator for the Fayette R. Plumb Co. of Philadelphia during the Summer of 1925.

Over the next twenty-five years, Taylor also held a number of positions with the federal government (consulting, research, and teaching): Economist with the Federal Trade Commission, 1931-1932; the Office of Price Administration, 1943-1944; Visiting Professor of Business Research, 1944-1945; Professor of Marketing at Biarritz American University, France, and at American University of Berlin, 1946-1949. These were schools for soldiers stationed in Europe. Taylor's Association with the Office of Military Government in Berlin continued beyond 1949, when he was made Assistant Economic Commissioner with E.C.A. [?] and U.S. State Department in Athens, Greece, a position he held until 1951. His last government position was with the Office of Price Stabilization (1952-1953).

Taylor returned to academic teaching during the fall of 1954, and over the next fifteen years he taught at a number of different institutions. Included is time as Visiting Professor of Marketing at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, 1954-1959; Professor of Marketing at California Western University, San Diego, 1960-1964. Although Taylor left California Western in 1964, he stayed part-time at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) until 1969, when he retired from teaching. Taylor did "extension teaching" at UCSD until the mid 1970s.

During his professional career, Taylor held a number of offices. He was the Secretary/Treasurer of the Scholastic Honorary Fraternity at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; the Director of the American Marketing Association; the Vice-President of National Association of Marketing Teachers; an Elected member of National Distribution Council; and a Member of Southern Economic Association, Beta Gamma Sigma, and Delta Sigma Pi.

Taylor was also a member of the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Marketing, the National Marketing Review, the National Roster of the American Marketing Association of 1942 and 1943, and the Harvard Business Review. He was also a frequent contributor to these periodicals, amassing dozens of publications. Taylor authored a Federal Trade Commission study of Chain Store Private Brands in 1932 and co-authored both an Economic Survey of Wilmington, North Carolina, (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1927) and National Advertising in Newspapers, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1945).

Taylor's niece, Mary A. Hannum, graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory in 1950 with a Mus.B.

In the years before his death, the unmarried Taylor returned to Ohio to live with his sister, Mildred, in Girard, Ohio. In 1979, both he and his sister moved to the Park Vista retirement home in Youngstown, Ohio, where Taylor remained until he died, July 6, 1980. His two sisters, Mildred and Amy, survived him.

Sources Consulted

Malcolm D. Taylor Alumni File

Malcolm D. Taylor Student File

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