Steven W. Taylor bigraphy, stories - American judge

Steven W. Taylor : biography

June 7, 1949 -

Steven W. Taylor is a Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court. He served as Chief Justice 2011–2013.

Judicial career

He was appointed to the Supreme Court of Oklahoma by Governor Brad Henry in September 2004 and was retained by the citizens in statewide votes during the 2006 and 2010 general elections. 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 Oklahoma City bombing case. That historic trial was formed around 161 counts of first degree murder against Terry Nichols, following a change of venue ordered by Judge Taylor removing the case from Oklahoma County.


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 Mary E. B. Taylor, who is now a retired public school teacher and 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 mayor from 1982 to 1984, and was the youngest mayor in the city's history. 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. He was granted the "Award of Judicial Excellence" by the Oklahoma Bar Association in 2003.

In 2004, Oklahoma State University named him a "Leadership Legacy" and a "Distinguished Graduate". He was inducted into the Oklahoma State University Hall of Fame in 2007. Then 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. 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, Justice Taylor received the highest recognition given to an Oklahoman, induction into the OKLAHOMA HALL OF FAME.

Early life

Steven Taylor was born in Henryetta, Oklahoma. During his high school years at McAlester High School in McAlester, Oklahoma, he served as a 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.

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