Susan L. Taylor
Susan L. Taylor (born January 23, 1946) is an American editor, writer, and journalist. She served as editor-in-chief of Essence from 1981 through 2000. In 1994, American Libraries referred to Taylor as "the most influential black woman in journalism today".
Taylor was born in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City to a Trinidadian mother and a father from St. Kitts. She grew up in East Harlem, where her father owned a clothing store. She went to a Catholic school. As a teenager, she moved with her family to the New York borough of Queens.
Taylor started her career at Essence, a magazine for African-American women, in 1970, the year the magazine was founded. Her first position at the magazine was freelance fashion and beauty editor. At the time, she was a divorced single mother without a college degree.
In addition to her editing responsibilities, Taylor had success building the Essence brand. She was executive producer and host of Essence, the Television Program, a syndicated interview program broadcast on more than 50 stations for four years during the 1980s. In the 1990s, she began Essence Books.
Taylor's monthly inspirational column, "In the Spirit", became a popular feature of the magazine. She published three volumes of selected columns.
In 2000, Taylor was promoted to publications director. She left the magazine in 2008.
The Magazine Publishers of America gave Taylor its Henry Johnson Fisher Award, considered one of the industry's highest honors, in 1998. She was the first African-American woman to receive the award.
In 1989, Taylor married writer Khephra Burns at their home in upstate New York. Taylor's daughter, Shana, owns a beauty supply business and is married to NBA Hall of Fame inductee Bernard King.
- In the Spirit: The Inspirational Writings of Susan L. Taylor, 1993.
- Lessons in Living, 1995.
- Confirmation: The Spiritual Wisdom That Has Shaped Our Lives, 1997. Co-authored with Khephra Burns.
- All About Love: Favorite Selections from "In the Spirit" on Living Fearlessly, 2008.
- Arango, Tim (December 28, 2007). "Essence Editor Is Leaving Magazine". The New York Times. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
- Taylor, Susan L. (April 1992). "Journeying into the Light". Essence. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
- Taylor, Susan L. (April 19, 2010). "Susan L. Taylor Talks Back to The Root". The Root. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
- McHenry, Susan (November–December 2004). "Black Publishing's Inspirational Godmother". Black Issues Book Review. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
- Dougherty, Philip H. (February 17, 1987). "Women's Group Names Matrix Award Winners". The New York Times. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
- "Matrix Awards Hall of Fame". New York Women in Communications. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
- "Henry Johnson Fisher Award Recipients". MPA – The Association of Magazine Media. Archived from the original on August 3, 2012. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
- Carr, David (May 2, 2002). "Magazine Award Winners, if Not Profit Champions". The New York Times. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
- "Magazine Editors' Hall of Fame". American Society of Magazine Editors. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
- "Exceptional Woman in Publishing Award". Exceptional Women in Publishing. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
- "The 37th NAACP Image Awards Winners". NAACP. Archived from the original on November 24, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
- Clifford, Patricia (August 6, 2013). "Delta Sigma Theta Centennial Celebration, Convention". Philadelphia Tribune. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
- "Society World". Jet. October 16, 1989. Retrieved August 19, 2016.