Patrick F. Taylor

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Patrick F. Taylor (June 12, 1937 – November 6, 2004) was an American businessman, who was founder and CEO of the independent oil company Taylor Energy Company.


Taylor graduated from Louisiana State University with a degree in petroleum engineering. After working for independent oilman John W. Mecom, Sr., he established a consulting company. Along with Mecom, he founded the Circle Bar Drilling company in the 1970s. After Circle Bar was sold, he started Taylor Energy Company. Taylor Energy became the largest privately held oil and gas company in the Gulf of Mexico.

Taylor had a strong interest in education and humanitarian causes. He developed and promoted the "Taylor Plan", adopted in Louisiana in 1998, which provides academically qualified students with state-paid tuition to college. It is known as the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students, or TOPS for short.[1]

In 1997, State Representative Charles R. McDonald of Bastrop in Morehouse Parish joined in a bipartisan fashion with Republican Governor Murphy J. Foster, Jr., to procure passage of Act 1375, a plan which opened the TOPS scholarships to all with a 2.5 grade point average and at least a score of 19 on the ACT. Family income was removed as a consideration for eligibility. Those with higher grades received $400 to $800 in extra funding to help meet the costs of other college expenses. McDonald's legislation was approved unanimously in both the House and Senate.[2]

In the 2002 legislative session, Governor Foster credited freshman Representative Tom Capella of Jefferson Parish, now the parish tax assessor, with saving TOPS from the budget axe.[3] TOPS has benefited more than 616,000 students since it was launched in 1999 at an accumulative cost of almost $1.8 billion, funds which have put the state budget in shortfall. TOPS is expected to cost more than $354 million in fiscal year 2018-2019 alone.[2]

In 2004, Taylor was named #234 to the Forbes 400, a list compiled by Forbes magazine of the 400 richest Americans.[4]

Taylor donated the statue of "Iron Mike" to the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia. His wife had also donated millions of dollars in contribution to new and improved schools.

Before his death in 2004, the Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy in Jefferson, Louisiana, was named in his honor. Each year, the school celebrates Founder's Day to honor the man who gave so much to Louisiana education. Taylor's widowed wife continues to play a close role with the school, visiting often, taking part in graduations, and accompanying students on trips to the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

In 2007, a building on the LSU campus was renamed in honor of Taylor and all his accomplishments.

In 2009, Taylor was posthumously inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield, Louisiana.[5]



  1. ^ "TOPS Index page". 2012-03-19. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  2. ^ a b "Jim Beam, TOPS has become untouchable, May 15, 2014". Lake Charles American-Press. Retrieved May 23, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Guest Speaker: Councilman Tom Capella". Bent Tree Estates Civic Association. March 19, 2009. Retrieved May 21, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Forbes Magazine-The 400 Richest Americans September 24, 2004". Forbes magazine. 
  5. ^ "Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame". Retrieved August 22, 2009. 
  6. ^ "CEBA". Retrieved 2012-11-18. 

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