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Glen H. Taylor

In office
January 3, 1945 – January 3, 1951
Preceded by D. Worth Clark
Succeeded by Herman Welker

Born April 12, 1904(1904-04-12)
Portland, Oregon
Died April 28, 1984 (aged 80)
Millbrae, California
Political party Democratic
Other political
Progressive (1948)
Spouse(s) Dora Taylor
Profession entrepreneur, musician

Glen Hearst Taylor (April 12, 1904 – April 28, 1984) was a colorful and controversial politician, businessman and United States Senator from Idaho. He was the vice presidential candidate on the Progressive Party ticket in the 1948 election. Taylor was otherwise a member of the Idaho Democratic Party. By one measure Taylor was determined to be the second most liberal member of the United States Senate since World War II (trailing only Wayne Morse of Oregon), and the fourth most liberal member of Congress overall during the same period.[1]


Early life

Taylor was the son of a wandering preacher. He moved to a homestead near Kooskia, Idaho, as a child and attended the public schools. In 1919, he joined a stock theater company. Between 1926 and 1944, he became the owner and manager of various entertainment enterprises. Taylor was also a country-western singer; his older sister, Lena, became famous as a jazz singer under the name Lee Morse in the 1920s.

He was inspired by King C. Gillette's book The People's Corporation.

Political career

He ran for the Senate in 1940 in a special election to fill the remaining term of the late William E. Borah, but lost to John W. Thomas with 47.1% to Thomas's 52.9%. He ran again in 1942 against Thomas and lost a close race, 48.5% to 51.5%.

Taylor ran for the Senate for a third time in 1944, defeating incumbent D. Worth Clark in the Democratic primary and Governor C. A. Bottolfsen in the general election.

In July 1947, Taylor was asked by a United Press reporter what he thought about reports that remnants of a UFO had been found by the Air Force near Roswell, N.M. Taylor replied that he almost hoped flying saucers would turn out to be spaceships from another planet. "They could end our petty arguments on earth." He went on to say that no matter what the UFOs turned out to be, they "can't be laughed off."

"Even if it is only a psychological phenomenon, it is a sign of what the world is coming to," Taylor explained. "If we don't ease the tensions, the whole world will be full of psychological cases and eventually turn into a global nuthouse."

In 1948 Taylor was the vice presidential candidate on the Progressive ticket headed by former Vice President Henry A. Wallace of Iowa. The Wallace/Taylor ticket failed to carry any states and won only 2.4% of the nationwide popular vote.

Taylor was arrested on May 1, 1948, in Birmingham, Alabama by police commissioner Eugene "Bull" Connor, for attempting to use a door reserved for African Americans, rather than the whites-only door, while attempting to attend a meeting of the Southern Negro Youth Congress. He was subsequently convicted of disorderly conduct.[2]

In 1950 Taylor ran for the Senate again but was defeated in the Democratic primary by Clark, who in turn lost in the general election to Republican Herman Welker.

Taylor served as president of Coryell Construction Co. from 1950 to 1952. He ran again for the Senate in 1954 but was decisively beaten by Republican incumbent Henry Dworshak, winning only 37.2% of the vote. His sixth and final Senate attempt came in 1956; he narrowly lost the Democratic primary to Frank Church and then got 5.1% of the vote in the general election as a write-in candidate.

Later life

After his 1956 loss, Taylor and his wife, Dora, moved to Millbrae, California, and began making hairpieces by hand. By 1960, Taylor Topper Inc. had become the major manufacturer of hair replacements in the United States. Taylor told the Washington Post in 1978 that it was something he was very familiar with. "I was 18, a juvenile leading man in a traveling show, and my hair had begun to fall out. There isn't much demand for bald juvenile leading men, and I tried everything - sheep dip, what have you - and that just made it fall out faster."

Taylor explained that he had run for Congress without the hairpiece and found that voters "didn't have much use for bald politicians", but "I ran the fourth time with it and won." His original toupee was made from a tin pie plate, which he lined with pink felt and swatches of human hair. Glen and Dora Taylor were successful manufacturing hair pieces, and Taylor Toppers became famous. The area where they produced the hairpieces became known as GLENDORA, California. They had a son born sometime between 1941-44. His name was AROD - Dora spelled backward. When Senator Taylor moved to Washington, his family had a difficult time finding a place to live. Taylor stood outside and sang O GIVE US A HOME, NEAR THE CAPITAL DOME, WITH A YARD FOR TWO CHILDREN TO PLAY to the tune of Home, Home, on the Range. He and his family were offered several places to rent.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Diane McWhorter, Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama, the Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution (Simon & Schuster/Touchstone, 2001), pp. 63-65.

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
C. Ben Ross
Democratic Party nominee, U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Idaho
1940 special (lost), 1942 (lost)
Succeeded by
George E. Donart
Preceded by
D. Worth Clark
Democratic Party nominee, U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Idaho
1944 (won)
Succeeded by
D. Worth Clark
Preceded by
Progressive Party Vice Presidential nominee
1948 (lost)
Succeeded by
Charlotta Bass
Preceded by
Claude J. Burtenshaw
Democratic Party nominee, U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Idaho
1954 (lost)
Succeeded by
R. F. Bob McLaughlin
United States Senate
Preceded by
D. Worth Clark
United States Senator (Class 3) from Idaho
January 3, 1945–January 3, 1951
Served alongside: John W. Thomas, Charles C. Gossett, Henry Dworshak, Bert H. Miller
Succeeded by
Herman Welker


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