Jack C. Taylor : biography
Jack Crawford Taylor (born 1922) is an American businessman and billionaire who founded the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Company.
After the war, he returned to St. Louis and started a delivery service company. In 1948, he took a job at the Lindberg Cadillac dealership where he eventually became a sales manager. In 1957, he started a car leasing business at the dealership in partnership with his employer which required that he take a 50 percent pay cut and put up $25,000 for a 25% interest in the business. Targeting people whose cars were in the shop, the Executive Leasing Company began operation with a total of seven cars.
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. 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. 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. The current chairman and CEO is Taylor's son, Andrew C. Taylor.
Taylor's business credo is: “Take care of your customers and employees first, and profits will follow.” July 14 2006
Early life and education
Taylor is the oldest of two sons born to Melburne Martling Taylor and Dorothy Crawford Taylor.[https://www.stlbeacon.org/#!/content/27271/paul_taylor_obit_093012 St. Louis Beacon: "Paul Taylor: Helped brother build Enterprise Leasing, the nation's largest rental vehicle business" By Gloria S. Ross] October 1, 2012 Taylor enrolled in the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis in 1940. retrieved March 30, 2013 He left school to join the U.S. Navy. During World War II, he piloted an F6F Hellcat fighter from the decks of the and the earning earning two Distinguished Flying Crosses and the Navy Air Medal.
- $40 million challenge gift to the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
- $30 million gift to the Missouri Botanical Garden to fund global plant research (largest ever gift given to a U.S. botanical garden)
- $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
Taylor was married to Mary Ann Taylor. They have since divorced. They had two children, Andrew C. Taylor, who is the current CEO of Enterprise, and Jo Ann Taylor, who runs the Taylor family philanthropic activities.
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