Steven W. Taylor

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Steven W. Taylor
Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of Oklahoma
In office
September 24, 2004 – December 31, 2016
Succeeded by Patrick Wyrick
District Judge, Pittsburg County, Oklahoma
In office
Mayor, McAlester, Oklahoma
In office
Personal details
Born (1949-06-07) June 7, 1949 (age 67)
Henryetta, Oklahoma, U.S.
Spouse(s) Mary Taylor
Children Son, Wilson
Alma mater Oklahoma State University (B.A., 1971)
University of Oklahoma College of Law (J.D., 1974)
Profession Attorney, Judge
Military service
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1970-1978
Rank Major

Steven W. Taylor (born June 7, 1949) is a retired Chief Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court. He is a former mayor of McAlester, Oklahoma. Taylor was the presiding judge in the state trial of the Oklahoma City Bombing.

Early life[edit]

Steven Taylor was born in Henryetta, Oklahoma. During his high school years at McAlester High School in McAlester, Oklahoma, he served as the student body president and as member of the speech and debate team, and the state and national honor societies. He earned a B.A. in political science from Oklahoma State University, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Oklahoma. While a student at OSU, he was actively involved in student government and honor society and was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity.


From 1970 to 1978, he served in the United States Marine Corps. During his military career, after his training as an infantry platoon commander, he served as a prosecutor, defense counsel, and ultimately as a Special Court Martial Judge. He became the youngest judge in the U.S. armed forces at the age of 28. He was later promoted to the rank of Major. In 1978, he married public school teacher Mary E. B. Taylor. They have one son, Wilson Taylor, who is the Manager of Team Operations for the NBA Oklahoma City Thunder. Following a two-year stint on the McAlester City Council, he served as the city's youngest mayor from 1982 to 1984. In 1983 he was named one of the "Three Outstanding Young Oklahomans. In 1985, the City of McAlester named its new industrial park the "Steven W. Taylor Industrial Park" in recognition of his economic development efforts as mayor. In recent years, Justice Taylor has been recognized as "Citizen of the Year" in McAlester. The Oklahoma Bar Association granted him the "Award of Judicial Excellence" in 2003.

He was inducted into the Oklahoma State University Hall of Fame in 2007. The University of Oklahoma presented Justice Taylor its Regents Alumni Award in 2009; with this award, he became the only person ever to receive the highest alumni recognition of both Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma. Taylor serves on the Board of Visitors of the University of Oklahoma College of Law and was named to the OU College of Law Hall of Fame in 2017. He is the co-author of University of Oklahoma College of Law: A Centennial History a book published in 2009 detailing the 100-year history of the OU law school.

Justice Taylor is a director of the Oklahoma Heritage Association. He serves on the board of directors of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and is a trustee of the Oklahoma City National Memorial and in 2010 became a trustee for Oklahoma City University.

In 2007, Oklahoma's centennial year, OKLAHOMA magazine named Justice Taylor as one of "100 Who Shaped Us" - a list of past and living Oklahomans who influenced the state's first 100 years.

In 2009, Taylor received the highest recognition given to an Oklahoman, induction into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.

Judicial career[edit]

From 1984 to 1994, he served as Associate District Judge in the 18th Judicial District. In 1991 he was the first Associate District Judge ever to be elected President of the Oklahoma Judicial Conference. From 1994 to 2004, he served as Chief Judge of the 18th Judicial District, which encompasses Pittsburg and McIntosh Counties. In his over 20 years as a trial judge, he presided over more than 500 jury trials, including numerous murder trials. Most notably, he presided over the state trial of the Oklahoma City bombing case. That historic trial of 161 counts of first degree murder against Terry Nichols was conducted in McAlester, Oklahoma after Judge Taylor ordered a change of venue from Oklahoma City. Governor Brad Henry appointed Taylor to the Supreme Court of Oklahoma in September 2004. He served a term as Chief Justice from January 2011 until January 2013. Oklahomans voted to retain him in the 2006 and 2010 general elections.[1][2] Justice Taylor retired from the Supreme Court on December 31, 2016 after 33 years of judicial service.


  1. ^ Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court District 2 General Election of 2006, Oklahoma State Election Board. (accessed March 23, 2014)
  2. ^ 2010 general election results, Oklahoma State Election Board (accessed March 23, 2014)

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