Jack C. Taylor

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Jack C. Taylor
Born Jack Crawford Taylor
(1922-04-14)April 14, 1922
St. Louis, Missouri, US
Died July 2, 2016(2016-07-02) (aged 94)
St. Louis, Missouri, US
Nationality American
Alma mater Washington University in St. Louis - Westminster College (Missouri)
Occupation Entrepreneur
Net worth Decrease US$8.6 billion (February 2016)[1]
Spouse(s) Mary Ann Taylor (divorced)
Children Andrew C. Taylor
Jo Ann Taylor Kindle
Parent(s) Melburne Martling Taylor
Dorothy Crawford
Military career
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1942–1945
Rank Lieutenant, USNR
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Distinguished Flying Cross (2)
Air Medal
Presidential Unit Citation

Jack Crawford Taylor (April 14, 1922 – July 2, 2016) was an American businessman and billionaire who founded the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Company.

Early life and education[edit]

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, 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 (named after the USS Enterprise aircraft carrier upon which he had served in World War II). 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][5]


  • $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[6]
  • $92.5 million in donations to 13 cultural institutions and charities, mostly in the St. Louis area [7]

Personal life[edit]

Taylor was married to Mary Ann Taylor. The marriage ended in a divorce.[5] They had two children, Andrew C. Taylor, who is the executive chairman of Enterprise, and Jo Ann Taylor, who runs the Taylor family philanthropic activities.[5] He died on July 2, 2016 in St. Louis at the age of 94.[8]


External links[edit]