Jack C. Taylor

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Jack C. Taylor
Jack Crawford Taylor

(1922-04-14)April 14, 1922
DiedJuly 2, 2016(2016-07-02) (aged 94)
St. Louis, Missouri, US
Alma materWashington University in St. LouisWestminster College (Missouri)
Children2, including Andrew
  • Melburne Martling Taylor
  • Dorothy Crawford
Military career
Allegiance United States
Branch United States Navy
Years of service1942–1945
RankLieutenant, USNR
WarsWorld War II

Jack Crawford Taylor (April 14, 1922 – July 2, 2016) was an American businessman and billionaire who founded the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Company. Taylor also was a fighter pilot for the United States Navy during World War II.

Early life and education[]

Taylor was the elder of two sons born in St. Louis, Missouri, to Melburne Martling Taylor and Dorothy Crawford Taylor.[2] Taylor enrolled in the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis in 1940.[3][4] He left school to join the U.S. Navy.[4] During World War II, he piloted an F6F Hellcat fighter from the decks of the USS Essex (CV-9) and the USS Enterprise (CV-6)[3] earning two Distinguished Flying Crosses and the Navy Air Medal.[4]


After the war, he returned to St. Louis and started a delivery service company. In 1948, he took a job at the Lindburg Cadillac dealership where he eventually became a sales manager.[4] In 1957, he started a car leasing business at the dealership in partnership with his employer, Arthur R. Lindburg[citation needed], which required that he take a 50 percent pay cut and put up $25,000 for a 25% interest in the business.[4] Targeting people whose cars were in the shop, the Executive Leasing Company began operation with a total of seven cars.[4]

In 1969, Jack expanded outside Saint Louis and changed the name of the company to Enterprise, coining it after the USS Enterprise aircraft carrier upon which he had served in World War II.[5] Unlike his competitors, who focused on business rentals at airports, Taylor concentrated on the hometown market offering home pickup services which led to Enterprise's "We'll Pick You Up" slogan.[4] By 1980, the rental fleet had grown to 6,000 cars. In 1989, the fleet had grown to 50,000 and he changed the name of the company to Enterprise Rent-A-Car.[4] By 1992, Enterprise surpassed $1 billion in revenues and by 1995, it reached $2 billion in revenues. In 2007, Enterprise purchased National Car Rental and Alamo Rent-A-Car.[4] The current executive chairman is Taylor's son, Andrew C. Taylor.[4]

Taylor's business credo was: "Take care of your customers and employees first, and profits will follow."[4][6]


  • $40 million challenge gift to the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra[4]
  • $30 million gift to the Missouri Botanical Garden to fund global plant research (largest ever gift given to a U.S. botanical garden)[4]
  • $25 million to establish the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Scholars Program at Washington University in St. Louis to support scholarships for minority and financially disadvantaged students
  • $1 million gift to Ranken Technical College located in St. Louis
  • $22 million in gifts to 10 charitable and educational organizations supporting underserved children in the St. Louis area[7]
  • $92.5 million in donations to 13 cultural institutions and charities, mostly in the St. Louis area[8]

Personal life[]

Taylor was married and divorced twice. In 1945, Taylor married the former Mary Ann MacCarthy, and the couple had two children: Andrew C. Taylor, who is the executive chairman of Enterprise, and Jo Ann Taylor, who runs the Taylor family philanthropic activities.[6] Taylor and his first wife divorced in 1977 after a long separation, and in 1979, he married Susan Orrison. Taylor and Orrison divorced in 2000.[9] In 1978, Taylor's first wife married E. Desmond Lee, a widower and a prominent businessman and philanthropist in his own right.[10] He died on July 2, 2016 in St. Louis at the age of 94.[11]


The Jack C. Taylor Conference Center which is under construction at the United States Naval Institute in Annapolis is named in recognition of his career as a U.S. Navy fighter pilot as well as his contributions as an entrepreneur, business leader, and philanthropist.


  1. ^ Forbes: The World's Billionaires – Jack Taylor & Family September 2013
  2. ^ St. Louis Beacon: "Paul Taylor: Helped brother build Enterprise Leasing, the nation's largest rental vehicle business" By Gloria S. Ross Archived July 20, 2013, at the Wayback Machine October 1, 2012
  3. ^ a b "Washington 2003, A Man on a Mission". Archived from the original on August 1, 2010. Retrieved December 11, 2007.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m University of Missouri: Missouri History – Jack C. Taylor. Retrieved March 30, 2013
  5. ^ "ABOUT ENTERPRISE RENT-A-CAR". enterprise.com. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  6. ^ a b CNN Money: "The big surprise is Enterprise" By Carol J. Loomis July 14, 2006
  7. ^ "Taylor family donates $22 million toward education and charitable organizations". St.Louis Today/St.Louis Post-Dispatch. May 27, 2015. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  8. ^ "Taylors give $92.5 million to 13 recipients, including Arch, Forest Park". St.Louis Today/St.Louis Post-Dispatch. June 10, 2015. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  9. ^ "Jack Taylor, Founder of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Dies at 94". Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  10. ^ "E. Desmond "Des" Lee Obituary (2010) St. Louis Post-Dispatch".
  11. ^ Gallagher, Jim. "Jack Taylor, founder of Enterprise Holdings and leading philanthropist, dies at 94". St Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved July 2, 2016.

External links[]

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